Labour minister calls for more talks in Canada Post strike


As Canada Post emerged from a weekend stalemate with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers over its latest contract offers, the Crown corporation issued another proposal: it would agree to mediation with the union, but only if its striking workers ended their walkouts during a so-called "cooling off" period.

If an agreement is not reached by January 31, the corporation says a mediator would provide recommendations for settlement.

"We've encouraged (both sides) to work together, we've appointed special mediators", Hajdu said on her way into the House of Commons.

Canada Post workers walk the picket line as a rotating strike continues in Halifax on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018.

"I'm hoping that Canada Post starts finally taking us seriously and the government finally starts taking us seriously and realize that our problems are real and these are working conditions that can no longer be tolerated", said Fischer.

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

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On Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a last-minute plea to the two sides to resolve their differences, just hours before a midnight deadline on the Crown corporation's latest offers expired.

CUPW had said on Friday that the new proposals from Canada Post made positive steps, but not enough to end the rotating strikes that have shut down postal operations in more than 200 communities, creating a huge backlog of undelivered mail.

"With the rotating strikes, resulting backlogs, and the massive Black Friday and Cyber Monday volumes that will arrive within days, we are trying everything we can to work together with the union - urgently - to deliver the holidays to Canadians", said Interim President and CEO of Canada Post, Jessica McDonald.

"Just as retail merchants, our workforce of two million and our customers enter the busiest time of year, the postal system is grinding to a near-halt", council president Diane Brisebois wrote in a letter to Trudeau.

Trudeau said last week that "all options" would be on the table to end postal disruptions if there was no progress in bargaining.

"A government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said decisions on how to end the job action by postal workers could come as early as Sunday, adding that "'all the options' does include legislating".