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Canada Post 'cooling off' period won't resolve postal dispute, says CUPW

Last Updated Nov 19, 2018 at 11:08 am PST

FILE - A Canada Post employee climbs into a mail truck in Halifax on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Unionized postal workers reject call from Canada Post for 'cooling off' period

CUPW says union isn't holding rotating strikes to harm the public

OTTAWA – Striking postal workers have rejected a call from Canada Post for a “cooling off” period to accompany mediated talks aimed at ending the labour dispute.

The labour strife has seen mail and packages backed up at distribution centres across the country.

Canada Post said this morning it would agree to another round of mediation with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, but only if its striking workers end their rotating walkouts.

It also called for binding arbitration if no settlement is reached by the end of January.

RELATED: Canada Post calls for ‘cooling off’ period to allow for mediated talks

In a statement, CUPW national president Mike Palecek says the union isn’t holding rotating strikes to harm the public.

But he says he won’t ask his members to return to work under conditions that effectively have some employees working without compensation.

In a statement he says the proposal asks members to go back to work at the heaviest and most stressful time of year, under the same conditions that produce the highest injury rate in the federal sector.

He also notes it asks women to continue to do work for free.

Canada Post proposed the so-called cooling off period, and binding arbitration should talks fail by January 31st, as pressure mounts to resolve the ongoing labour dispute ahead of the busy Christmas delivery season.

In a statement, the Crown corporation said it wanted CUP-W members to put down their picket signs while talks are on, and offered a special payment of up to one-thousand dollars for each member if there is no labour disruption while mediated talks are on.

RELATED: How are you coping with the ‘historic’ Canada Post backlog?

Jessica McDonald, chair of the board of directors and interim president and C-E-O of Canada Post says with the rotating strikes, resulting backlogs, and the massive Black Friday and Cyber Monday volumes that will arrive within days, they are trying everything possible to work together with the union to deliver the holidays to Canadians.

The proposal came as Canada Post workers continued their rotating strikes after rejecting the Crown agency’s latest offer and also requested the government appoint a mediator to help end the ongoing dispute.