After a last-ditched attempt by Ottawa to head off a postal disruption, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has given Canada Post 72-hour strike notice.
Postal customers were notified of the move by Canada Post Thursday night.
The union will be in a legal position to strike on Sunday, Aug. 28, but says it plans to begin with rotating strikes from province to province.
Wednesday night, federal Minister of Labour MaryAnn Mihychuk requested that the union and management agree to a 24-hour extension of timelines in order to allow for the negotiation of a longer extension and ongoing talks. Mihychuk also said she will appoint a special mediator to assist in the contract talks.
“This was an eleventh-hour intervention from the government to avoid a dispute and of course we said yes," ,” said CUPW national president Mike Palecek. "From the outset, our goal has been a negotiated collective agreement without service disruptions."
Until now, the union was required to provide advance notice of any disruptive job action. As of Sunday, the union will not be required to provide any notice. That doesn't necessarily mean it will begin strike action.
"We hope the assistance of a neutral third party will help both parties address the real challenges facing the postal service caused by declining mail volumes and increasing pension obligations," Canada Post said in its notice to customers.