CPC has effectively refused CUPW’s offer for a 30-day cooling off period to address concerns about “uncertainty” in the mail system and give negotiations a chance to succeed.
Instead management is proposing a process of compulsory arbitration to commence 30 days from now. If CPC knows there is a process of arbitration after 30 days they will simply continue to issue ultimatums and use the time to prepare their arbitration presentations. That is a prospect that the Union will not accept.
CPC wants arbitration because they prefer to have a government appointed arbitrator to decide our contracts. They know arbitration is a very lengthy, costly process which always leads to rollbacks. Issues such as pensions, health and safety, work measurement, pay equity, wages, benefit plans and job security usually require many “expert witnesses” to provide evidence. The 1997 arbitration lasted two years and there was never a decision issued. In 2011 the government appointed two arbitrators that were later removed by the courts because of a lack of proper qualifications and an apprehension of bias, respectively. With the many complex issues in the current negotiation a proper arbitration process would be very lengthy.
The Canada Labour Code requires both management and unions to bargain in good faith. It also provides for both parties to initiate industrial action in order to provide an incentive for both parties to seriously negotiate.
“We do not feel, unlike previous governments, that it is the immediate responsibility to be heavy handed. We respect labour. We respect the need to come to terms at the bargaining table and that it is what we are going to continue to work on."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, July 5, 2016
“In the present state of society, in fact, it is the possibility of the strike which enables workers to negotiate with their employers on terms of approximate equality. It is wrong to think that the unions are in themselves able to secure this equality.”
Pierre Elliott Trudeau, The Asbestos Strike 1956
The Union renews its call for a thirty day cooling off period and meaningful negotiations.
Go to cupw.ca/CUPW-eDigest and sign up for CUPW eDigest today and you will receive negotiations information directly to your email inbox.