OTTAWA—The president of Canada Submit’s largest staff’ union says the Crown company is spoiling for a labour battle as greater than 50,000 staff put together for a summertime strike-vote amidst ongoing talks.
Mike Palecek, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Employees, accused Canada Submit administration of stubbornness on the bargaining desk, the place talks for a brand new staff’ contract that started in late 2017 have achieved “nearly nothing.”
Negotiations entered a brand new stage this week, as third-party conciliators have been introduced in to assist hammer out an settlement earlier than a Sept. 9 deadline. If no deal is reached by then, a strike or lockout might be attainable by late September.
“To this point we’ve been met with an absolute refusal to maneuver on any substantial concern from the company,” Palecek informed the Star.
“They appear hellbent on driving us in direction of a labour dispute,” he mentioned.
Canada Submit spokesperson Jon Hamilton mentioned Thursday that the corporate wouldn’t touch upon the scenario in an interview, however offered an emailed assertion that described the conciliation course of as a standard a part of labour talks.
“Canada Submit negotiators are working exhausting to search out widespread floor with CUPW and consider a fast decision to negotiations is in one of the best curiosity of shoppers and staff,” the assertion mentioned.
Palecek mentioned the union needs to resolve plenty of issues for the 2 staff’ models concerned within the talks: the 42,000 staff in city operations and eight,000 rural and suburban mail carriers that collectively make up greater than three-quarters of Canada Submit’s workforce.
A significant sticking level is over pay fairness between these models. Sixty-five per cent of the agricultural and suburban unit is ladies, however the common pay of these staff is 30 per cent decrease than these in city operations, though they do “the very same work,” Palecek mentioned.
In a ruling launched Might 31, arbitrator Maureen Flynn criticized Canada Submit’s pay discrepancies as “essentially flawed” and ordered the 2 sides to settle the problem by the tip of August.
“This was a significant concern in our final spherical of negotiation, and we now have a authorities that claims they wish to make pay fairness a precedence,” Palecek mentioned.
“We haven’t seen that but.”
Different points on the desk concerned compelled additional time and union calls for to carry social points into the employees’ contract with the corporate. For instance, Palecek mentioned the union needs Canada Submit to transform its fleet of autos to electrical, and arrange postal banking.
“We don’t need to be right here. We’ve come to the desk in good religion,” he mentioned.
Alex Ballingall is an Ottawa-based reporter protecting nationwide politics. Observe him on Twitter: @aballinga