The threat of a strike by Canada Post employees has been looming for the past year, and especially since the arbitrator appointed to bring the two sides to an agreement had failed to impose an August deadline for an agreement. However, the arbitrator, Maureen Flynn, issued her ruling to Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers [CUPW] on a pay rise for rural mail carriers. One of the main grievances brought forward by the union was the difference between urban and rural carriers in the way in which Canada Post assessed their pay. Urban letter carriers are paid by the hour, while their rural counterparts are paid based on the size of their route, which amounts to less than the carriers make being paid hourly. And, as most rural letter carriers are women, and most urban letter carriers are men, inequality was another problem identified by the union.
The arbitrator’s ruling last week will give rural mail carriers as much as a 25% rise in their wages, plus increases in other benefits. Even so, postal workers will be in a legal position to strike from today, Wednesday: so, by the time you read this, there could be a Canada Post strike, or perhaps a further extension for talks.
The Times will continue to keep our readers abreast of any breaking developments.