OTTAWA – Postal workers are proposing a 30-day cooling off period to Canada Post management to address concerns about “uncertainty” in the mail system and give negotiations a chance to succeed.

“Our members, their families and all Canadians do not deserve to have this threat of a lockout ‘looming’ over our heads from a profitable public service. Postal workers want to work and people need to know that it’s safe to use the mail system,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

The union says it is prepared to engage in “intensive negotiations” with Canada Post during the cooling-off period, which would include an extension of the terms and conditions of 50,000 workers’ current contracts. As a sign of good faith, it has offered to drop an unfair labour practices complaint filed against Canada Post if management agrees to the union’s proposal.

Canada Post is demanding concessions from the postal workers and has budged very little over the past months, filing for conciliation very early on in the process and issuing a lockout notice just one week after making its first offer.

“Instead of negotiating with us fairly, this profitable crown corporation has been busy scaring businesses and the public off with threats of labour strife,” said Palecek. “They need to give that a rest and get back to the table with us.”

The union is trying to stave off the demands for cuts, which include less secure pensions for new hires, and is also trying to get Canada Post to reinvent itself by expanding and innovating services as well as addressing wage inequities between rural and urban mail carriers.

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