Postal strike or lockout possible by September 26

Mike Palecek.

As reported in various consumer media outlets for the past several weeks, Canadians could see disruptions to mail service before the end of September, as Canada Post Corporation and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) currently appear far apart on a new contract addressing several key issues. Neither a strike nor a lockout will be legally possible until Wednesday, September 26, with both sides insisting that they don’t want to take such action. The CUPW has been holding strike mandate votes across the country over the past few weeks. Both parties have been talking about new contracts since November of 2017, and negotiations continued throughout the summer with a conciliator, but little progress has been made. Union president Mike Palecek has said that CUPW “will do everything possible to achieve an agreement without a strike.”

On its website, CUPW describes the offer for urban employees as containing “rollbacks and Trojan horses” and the offer for rural and suburban employees as “unacceptable” and ignoring key issues. CUPW members were previously locked out in 2011-12 and the federal government legislated them back to work (although a judge later ruled that the legislation was unconstitutional). Some companies in our industry, especially those involved in direct-mail, are already making contingency plans.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.