Idle Canada Post trucks sit in the parking lot of the Saint-Laurent sorting facility in Montreal as rotating strikes hit the area on Thursday November 15, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Canada Post calls for ‘cooling off’ period to allow for mediated talks

The proposal came as Canada Post workers continued their rotating strikes Monday after rejecting the Crown agency’s latest offer.

Canada Post proposed a “cooling off” period with its striking postal workers Monday as pressure mounts to resolve the ongoing labour dispute ahead of the busy Christmas delivery season.

In a statement, the Crown corporation agreed with a proposal from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to bring another mediator into the ongoing contract dispute — but with a catch.

It said it wants CUPW members to put down their picket signs until the end of January while talks are on, and offered a special payment of up to $1,000 for each member if there is no labour disruption before the so-called cooling off period ends.

“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,” Jessica McDonald, chair of the board of directors and interim president and CEO of Canada Post, said in the statement.

“This proposal also includes a way for the parties to resolve their differences and these negotiations.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if the union would agree to the offer, which came with a deadline of 5 p.m. Monday.

Canada Post said it would start talks “with a jointly-agreed, government-appointed mediator,” while reinstating both collective agreements with CUPW during the cooling off period.

If an agreement is not reached by Jan. 31, the corporation says a mediator would provide recommendations for settlement. If not adopted by the parties, it said binding arbitration would be introduced.

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

Read more: CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Read more: Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

The union had let pass a time-sensitive proposal from Canada Post meant to stop the strikes affecting about 42,000 urban employees and 8,000 rural and suburban carriers.

A spokeswoman for Labour Minister Patty Hajdu wouldn’t say whether Ottawa would oblige the request for a mediator, but indicated it was a good sign that both sides remained committed to finding a solution.

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

The strikes have created a huge backlog of undelivered mail, prompting some businesses to issue pleas for a resolution.

The Retail Council of Canada urged Ottawa to “bring an immediate end” to the rotating strikes through back-to-work legislation.

Canada Post says the suspension of strikes could allow it to begin reducing the massive backlog of mail and parcels now sitting in hundreds of trailers.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

“No excuse” for killing of two young grizzly cubs

Reader hopeful someone will come forward with information

UPDATE: U.S. firm fined $2.9M for fuel spill that soiled B.C. First Nation territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

No delivery services hard on local families

New parents Candace Knudsen and Bjorn Samuelsen spent five weeks away from home

UPDATED: Vehicle strike likely caused death of grizzly cubs

The cubs were discovered on June 30 on Thorsen Creek Road

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Thunderstorms forecast across B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for B.C.’s central Interior

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Driver who killed B.C. motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Most Read