23 June 2011
Postal talks break down; CPIA warns of layoffs
OTTAWA—Canada Post issued a statement June 22 noting "intense" negotiations over the past 72 hours failed to reach an agreement with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). "Every effort has been made to reach a negotiated settlement that is in the best interest of employees, customers and the company."

Meanwhile, Bill C-6, which would end the lockout by Canada Post, is being debated in the House of Commons today.

While today is also the last official day Parliament was to sit before summer recess, the Bill will need royal assent before becoming law. The act would come into effect 24 hours after it's assented to, but it remains unclear when that will happen.

CUPW is upset about the act, calling it "unnecessary legislation from an unjust government", also noting the wage increases for union workers laid out in the bill are lower than Canada Post's latest offer. Although an arbitrator will be appointed by the government to select an offer from either Canada Post or CUPW, the wage provisions in the bill are binding upon the passage of the legislation.

The new collective bargaining agreement selected by the arbitrator would be in effect until Jan. 31, 2015.

The Communications, Energy and Paperworks (CEP) Union of Canada said in a June 21 statement the Conservative back-to-work legislation shows "contempt" for democracy. "This is illegitimate legislation that imposes a contract, wages and a phony arbitration on other key issues," said Dave Coles, CEP president. "This is everything the employer wants and utter contempt for free collective bargaining."

Prior to the CEP statement, the Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA) urged the government to pass back-to-work legislation as soon as possible.

"I am hearing from a growing number of members that they have already laid off staff with more layoffs to come over the coming days if something isn't done soon," said Bob Elliott, CPIA president.
— Jeff Hayward
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