OTTAWA, Ont.–The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has provided Canada Post with 72-hour strike notices. The union will be in a legal position to commence strike action on August 28, 2016, said the release.
The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, MaryAnn Mihychuk, announced she will appoint a special mediator to assist in negotiations with CUPW. Canada Post said it will fully cooperate in the process.
“We hope that 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,” CUPW stated.
In a related release, Canada Post announced its pension solvency deficit rose significantly as the discount rate dropped. The pension solvency deficit is estimated at $8.1 billion as of July 1, 2016, up from $6.1 billion at December 31, 2015, and “presents a major challenge to the Corporation’s financial self-sustainability”.
The Canada Post segment’s results were driven by continued strong Parcels growth and the almost 27 million additional pieces of mail generated by the 2016 census. “Uncertainty over negotiations with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers for two new collective agreements had minimal impact on revenue in the second quarter, which ended July 2, 2016. This was before any work stoppage could occur. However, late in the quarter, many customers made other arrangements to deliver their mail and parcels, which will have a noticeable impact on third-quarter results,” Canada Post stated.
Parcels and Direct Marketing continue to represent opportunity for Canada Post. However, growth in these areas will not be enough to pay for the pension obligations, offset the ongoing decline in Lettermail and invest in the network and customer service. These are all key aspects of Canada Post’s long-term financial self-sustainability, it said.