Postal workers in Canada reject Canada Post's call for a cooling-down period

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The Canadian Union of Postal Workers, well before the 5 p.m. deadline set for a response, has rejected the request of Canada Post for a cooling-down period through the end of January.

Under the headline of “Union Rejects Binding Arbitration,” the CUPW said it wants Canada Post to “return to the bargaining table and negotiate a settlement now.”

Canada Post did not specifically call for binding arbitration in its statement calling for the cooling-off period released earlier Monday. It said it wanted a mediator and a “process” to end the dispute. The contract covering the CUPW expired Saturday, and there have been localized strikes throughout parts of the country leading up to the current standoff. Those strikes are still said to be ongoing.

“We aren’t doing this to harm the public, but the proposal asks our members to go back to work at the heaviest and most stressful time of year, under the same conditions that produce the highest injury rate in the federal sector. It asks women to continue to do work for free. How can we do that?” CUPW president Mike Palecek said in the union’s statement.

Canada Post earlier had recommended a "cooling-off period" of about two months in which the company and the union representing its workers try to end a lengthy dispute.

The Crown Corporation said that as part of the cooling off, the rotating strikes that have hit the company in various parts of Canada would need to come to an end "immediately." During the cooling-off period, the two sides would again turn to a mediator and "introduce a process to achieve a final resolution."

"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 Canada Post statement calling for the cooling-off period. ."This proposal also includes a way for the parties to resolve their differences and these negotiations.”