There have been many questions about how the Canada Labour Code applies to our current situation. As you know, we held a strike vote and that mandate is good for 60 days. Our 60-day period ends on August 25, 2016. What are our options at that point?
87.3 (1) Unless a lockout not prohibited by this Part has occurred, a trade union may not declare or authorize a strike unless it has, within the previous sixty days, or any longer period that may be agreed to in writing by the trade union and the employer, held a secret ballot vote among the employees in the unit and received the approval of the majority of the employees who voted.
strike includes a cessation of work or a refusal to work or to continue to work by employees, in combination, in concert or in accordance with a common understanding, and a slowdown of work or other concerted activity on the part of employees in relation to their work that is designed to restrict or limit output; (grève)
Based on the provisions of the Canada Labour Code, there are three possible options available to us.
The parties could agree in writing to extend the 60-day period that the strike vote is valid for. This would allow negotiations to continue and we would retain our right to strike. Should CPC not agree to extend the period, then we may have no other choice than to issue a 72-hour notice of strike action on or before August 25, 2016.
If we do not use one of the above options by August 25th, then our strike vote mandate is no longer valid and we would have to hold another strike vote to have the ability to issue a 72-hour notice of strike action.
We have been saying since the beginning of this round that we want to achieve negotiated collective agreements. We have also stated throughout this process that we do not want to go on strike. This position has not changed. Canada Post appears determined to force us into a corner so that we have to make a decision before August 25th. Our message to Canada Post is that it is time to settle this dispute without any kind of work disruption. We have less than two weeks until August 25th so now is the time to work with us to get new collective agreements. No one benefits from a service disruption so CPC needs to stop trying to cause one.