Late yesterday afternoon, Canada Post counsel notified the Arbitrator and our counsel that they would not cross examine either Cathy Kennedy or Sylvain Lapointe. They also stated that they would have no sur reply evidence. This was confirmed via video conference this morning. The evidence portion of the arbitration is now complete.
In Ontario, there is a mandatory government order to close non-essential businesses due to COVID-19. Despite this order, we wanted to ensure that the arbitration hearing continued, so we worked with the Arbitrator, CPC and our IT department to find a way to proceed. This process has been going on for a very long time and we are very close to the end.
Bill C-89, An Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of postal services was passed by the federal Liberal majority in the House of Commons on November 24, 2018 and took effect at noon on November 27. One year has passed.
We have now completed 35 days of hearings. There are 4 dates scheduled for December; 3rd, 6th, 19th and 20th. Canada Post has used 15 hearing dates so far. When the Arbitrator asked about how much longer they need to complete their case, the answer from their counsel was vague. He never really answered the question but stated they think they have 3 or 4 more witnesses to go.
In our June 28 bulletin (bulletin # 082), we explained that in the current round of negotiations, the parties (CUPW and CPC) agreed to amend some provisions and classifications related to groups 3 and 4.
We continued with our busy arbitration schedule by completing 8 days of hearings in the last three weeks. We have now completed 32 days of hearings. We presented our entire case in 20 days, which included hearing evidence and the cross-examination of 28 witnesses. So far Canada Post has used 12 days of hearings and we have heard evidence from 3 witnesses. They still have their fourth witness on the stand and have at least 3 more witnesses to go after that.
As mentioned in the previous bulletin, some issues were resolved and language was signed. These changes will be implemented prior to the new collective agreement. The following are more details about these changes.
Support Postal Banking - Download and Sign the Petition
Canada needs a postal bank. Thousands of rural towns and villages in our country do not have a bank, but many of them have a post office that could provide financial services. As well, nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to payday lenders. A postal bank could be that alternative. Download and sign the petition urging the Government of Canada to instruct Canada Post to add postal banking, with a mandate for financial inclusion.