Canadian Publishing Industry News
5 May 2011,     OTTAWA
Canada Post strike mediation begins
A mediator is now assisting in talks between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers in hope of reaching an agreement. 
Conciliation ended May 3. Jacques Lessard, previously acting as the conciliator, is now the mediator. "This will enable him to play a more active role by making suggestions and proposals to bring the parties closer together," reads a statement on the CUPW site.
Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) have voted 94.5% in favour of striking if necessary. The earliest a real strike could happen is May 25.
"Our objective is to negotiate a collective agreement which will meet the needs of postal workers," noted Denis Lemelin, national president of the CUPW. 
The union previously stated, "The introduction of new work methods has resulted in unsafe working conditions, excessive amounts of forced overtime, and major problems with service to the public. The union has submitted proposals at the bargaining table to address these problems."
On April 18, Canada Post released a statement in response to the strike vote. 
"A strike vote does not mean that there will be a work stoppage at Canada Post. The union has held strike votes during past rounds of collective bargaining without a work stoppage occurring," reads the statement. 
Canada Post said a new proposed sick leave program and changes of terms and conditions for new employees are needed "to keep Canada post financially viable and secure the future of the postal system in this country.
"Competition and electronic substitutions of traditional mail are growing and putting a strain on our business."
— Jeff Hayward
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