Almost Everything You Wanted to Know About a Strike Vote

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Tuesday May 17 2016

We Need a Mandate for ActionDear Sisters and Brothers, please feel free to ask us questions via and we will add to this list as the questions come in.



Does a strike vote mean we are going on strike?

No, not necessarily.  A strike vote authorizes your National Executive Board to take action if bargaining breaks down.  But it also authorizes us to take other collective actions such as a work-to-rule campaign or an overtime-ban.  There are many more creative actions we could plan to put pressure on management to negotiate a fair collective agreement. This could be an opportunity for community mobilization, giving us space to organize with members and the public.


Why do we need to take a strike vote?

Canada Post has applied for conciliation, meaning they want to push matters to a head.  We cannot allow management to be in a lock-out position without having a strike vote in place because they will have the upper hand if we don’t have a strong strike vote in place.  They may try any number of dirty tricks when the cooling-off period is finished, and we need to be in a position to fight back.  A strike vote is required by the labour code before we take any workplace actions. We will not allow them to divide us.


If we vote no, what happens?

A “No” vote sends the message to the employer that you are willing to accept the cuts and concessions they are putting forward.  If you vote no to a strike, the union will have very little power to defend your wages and working conditions from being cut back, and even less power to improve your situation.

When can a strike or lock-out happen?

If conciliation ends without any settlement, there will be a 21-(calendar)-day cooling-off period.  If the conciliation goes its full 60 days, we may be in a strike or lock-out position as early as July 2nd.  Conciliation can be extended by mutual agreement, but we have seen little indication so far that Canada Post is willing to negotiate a fair collective agreement.


If I vote No, does it mean there won’t be a labour dispute?

No.  Canada Post can still lock us out, even if we do not vote to strike.  Management has applied for conciliation.  This sets the clock ticking towards a strike or lock out.  We believe management is likely to lock us out.


Where can I get more information?

Watch your union bulletin board for information about when your Local’s strike vote(s) are being held.  Check the cupw website ( regularly for negotiations bulletins.  Sign up for e-digest to get the latest news by email.


How can I help?

Help your co-workers build a strong, mobilized workfloor that is united and ready to defend our rights and fight for a fair deal. Support your negotiating committee and Local. Sign up to be a picket captain and ask co-workers to do the same. Participate in work floor actions, group coffee breaks and other activities with your co-workers. Share information and help get the vote out!



We need your help to show Canada Post management that we are united behind our negotiators, and we will not accept any more of their cuts!




In solidarity,

Mike Palecek
National President (2015-2019)