Online sellers were facing a possible mail disruption in Canada due to a labor dispute between Canada Post and the CUPW union as early as today (Friday), but now the earliest date for a possible disruption has been pushed to Monday, July 11th.
Canada Post issued a statement on Wednesday explaining that the Canadian Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour requested both sides of the dispute to submit to binding arbitration to resolve the current impasse at negotiations.
Canada Post said it has agreed to voluntarily submit to binding arbitration as an opportunity for both parties to reach an acceptable resolution. It went on to state:
“While negotiated settlements are always the preferred option, it has become clear that after seven months of negotiations, the parties remain far apart on key issues at the bargaining table. The uncertainty caused by the prolonged negotiations is having a severe impact on the business, our employees and our customers.
“It is our hope that CUPW will consider submitting to binding arbitration to end the uncertainty. Canada Post is extending the current 72-hour notice period to Monday at 12:01 am to provide time for the union to consider this option. A quick resolution is in the best interest of our employees, our customers and the long-term future of the postal system.”
The union issued a statement on Thursday saying it declined to submit to binding arbitration and stating in part:
“We appreciate the offer to help, but paying women equally for work of equal value is the law of the land; it’s not something that can be awarded or withheld by an arbitrator,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
“The union is demanding that Canada Post create an hourly wage for rural and suburban mail carriers, 70% of whom are women. They currently earn on average almost 30% less than their mostly male counterparts in the larger urban unit.”