18 April 2011
Postal workers vote for strike, earliest possible May 25
OTTAWA—While a strike is far from certain and negotiations continue with the aid of a government-appointed conciliator, members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) have voted 94.5% in favour of striking if necessary to obtain a collective agreement.

The earliest a real strike could happen is May 25.

“We hope the sky-high strike vote and the record turnout of our members will put pressure on Canada Post to negotiate,” said CUPW national president Denis Lemelin on the CUPW website today.

“Canada Post has been very focused on its demands, not ours," says Lemelin. “The corporation wants to pay new employees 30 percent less. It wants to reduce their benefits, weaken their job security and provide an inferior pension. It also wants to attack retiree benefits, sick leave and turn back the clock on many other contract provisions.”

For its part, Canada Post says it remains optimistic that a negotiated settlement can be reached because employees are being offered “annual wage increases, a secure pension and continued job security,” according to a report from CTV News in Winnipeg, quoting a Canada Post release.

As reported earlier on PrintCAN, a strike vote at this point is a negotiating tactic. CUPW members have voted for strikes in the past without a strike occurring.

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