A postal worker loads his vehicle in Halifax Monday.
OTTAWA — The heads of Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers are meeting today to find common ground to avoid a disruption of mail service and settle lengthy contract negotiations.
Canada Post chief executive Deepak Chopra and national union president Denis Lemelin are meeting in Ottawa, as the clock ticks down to a legal strike position by urban postal workers on Thursday at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
Canada Post says it needs to address labour costs in this round of negotiations and noted that letter-mail business has fallen by more than 17 per cent since 2006 due to digital communications.
The union has said a key sticking point is sick leave for employees.
The union’s final offer Monday included several amendments and clarifications to its positions — including a drop in its wage demands. CUPW also agreed to Canada Post’s request for a four-year collective agreement.
Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt has urged the two sides to reach a negotiated settlement, saying that any work stoppage would impact Canada’s economic well being.
The last time the union went on strike was the fall of 1997 and workers were off the job for two weeks before being forced back to work by federal legislation.
Contract negotiations for the roughly 50,000 urban postal workers began last fall.