25 May 2011
Canada Post strike looms, negotiations continue
OTTAWA—Canada Post yesterday issued a counter-offer to the proposal put forward by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers on May 23, which the post office soundly rejected as representing "a step backwards as it provides no realistic solutions to the problems facing the postal system."
CUPW said it would issue its formal response to the new Canada Post offer today, postponing any strike action till after May 28. The union must give a 72-hour notice of any strike activity.

CUPW did suggest, however, that Canada Post's counter-offer exaggerated the cost of union demands. The post office "made a statement that CUPW's proposals will cost $1.4 billion over the next 4 years. There was no explanation of these figures. Exaggerating the cost of union demands is a tactic that has been used by CPC in all previous rounds of bargaining to distract attention from the real issues and justify taking a hard line during negotiations."

"For sixteen consecutive years CPC has been profitable," said CUPW president and chief negotiator Dennis Lemelin in a statement. "Yet, throughout the current negotiations, the Employer has taken extreme positions concerning the financial aspects of the negotiations. Instead of identifying problems and discussing solutions, they came with ultimatums. In their global offer, they dropped some extreme demands, but maintained many others."

Canada Post said it would need to raise postage costs by 15% or ask for government subsidies to pay the increased costs in the union's proposal.

Meanwhile, a Canada Post press release dated May 24 states the union is proposing "changes to the delivery of advertising and promotional mail that will significantly increase the company's costs and put that entire business at risk." Neither Canada Post nor the union have yet elaborated on what that proposal entails.

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