Regular mail and parcel delivery could be knocked out as early as Friday after Canada Post issued 72-hour lockout notice to its unionized workforce on Tuesday.
Canada Post said it plans to suspend the collective agreement, citing declining volumes as major customers anticipate a mail service disruption.
The company said the move will give managers the flexibility to adjust staffing to match the reduced amount of work needed due to the “changing business reality” and doesn’t necessarily mean a lockout will be triggered.
Mike Palecek, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, denounced the move as one aimed at forcing 50,000 postal workers to accept steep concessions.
“We knew this was their game all along,” Palecek said. “They are sabotaging the public review of the post office. They refused to negotiate fairly with us and now they’re locking the doors and will try to starve us into submission.”
Canada Post has rejected CUPW’s demands as unaffordable, saying they would add more than $1 billion over the life of a new contract.
Despite any labour disruption, federal government cheques for benefits like Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan, and the Canada Child Benefit will continue to be delivered as they have been deemed essential.