Possible Labor Strife Between Canada Post and CUPW Remains a Possibility
As negotiations continue between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is still monitoring a possible work disruption affecting Canada Post, noted a USPS customer alert issued on July 11.
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“On July 10, Canada Post announced negotiations are continuing with Canada Union of Postal Workers (CUPW),” the USPS alert said. “The Postal Service will continue to process and accept all mail to and from Canada. If a full strike or work stoppage occurs, the Postal Service will continue to offer customers the option of using Global Express Guaranteed (GXG) service for delivery of documents and merchandise in Canada, with transportation and delivery by FedEx.”
The USPS’s GXG service provides fast international shipping, competitive shipping rates, and date-certain delivery with a money-back guarantee to about 180 countries, with delivery in 1 to 3 business days (1 business day to many destinations in Canada), and international transportation and delivery provided by FedEx Express, according to the USPS.
While the current situation involving Canada Post and the CUPW is ongoing, a CBC report signaled that things could be changing for the better, with CUPW resuming contract talks and Canada Post withdrawing a threat to lock out its 50,000 CUPW workers.
The report added that Canada Post released a statement saying it had withdrawn its lockout notice, which will allow both parties to focus their efforts on serious negotiations.” And it added that it is expecting the union to honor their repeated public statements that they have no plans to issue a strike notice.
“Assurance from both parties that the postal system will remain open for business while we negotiate will provide the certainty that Canadians and our employees are looking for.”
The bulk of the discourse between the parties focuses on wages and pensions, which followed seven months of negotiations that also included 60 days of conciliation reports and more than 30 days with federal negotiators, the report said.
Prior to the parties’ renewed commitment to negotiating a new labor deal, the threat of a strike by Canada Post was viewed as a distinct possibility, according to Jerry Hempstead, president of Hempstead Consulting.
“There is a different set of rules in Canada vs. the USPS when it comes to collective bargaining so it’s possible the Canadian [Post] may have a work disruption. That said there is a robust set of alternatives because the vast majority of Canadian citizens live in a few select metropolitan areas. It is a very different service landscape than here in the USA, and Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are just across our border.”
As for potential alternatives, if needed, Hempstead cited Purolator, with the caveat that they are owned by Canada Post, and he was uncertain if they would have to honor the Canadian Post interruption if there was one. Other alternatives he mentioned were UPS and FedEx, and DHL who has a domestic Canada service through a contractor partner.
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Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman