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CUPW issues strike notice after it says Canada Post refused special mediator

A postal worker walks past Canada Post trucks at a sorting centre in Montreal, Friday, July 8, 2016. Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk says in a statement that she expects both Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to use the special mediator to come to a resolution and avoid job action. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

OTTAWA – The union representing a majority of workers at Canada Post has issued a 72-hour notice of job action as it tries to bargain a collective agreement with the Crown corporation.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says the notice spells out what actions it is planning, but stops short of a full-blown walkout.

CUPW national president Mike Palecek says Canada Post forced the labour disruption by refusing to accept a request from the federal labour minister to continue negotiations with the help of a special mediator.

But a spokesman for the agency says that’s not the case.

The union’s strike mandate was set to expire at midnight.

The two sides have been in negotiations for more than nine months but are far apart on key issues including pay equity for rural carriers and proposed changes to the Canada Post pension plan.