October 20, 2018 1:25 pm

Postal union official ‘not very confident’ strike with Canada Post will be avoided

With a possible nation-wide strike looming, Gord Fischer, national director of the prairie region for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, joins Global News Calgary to discuss the issues at hand and what the union is hoping to negotiate.

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A nation-wide rotating strike by Canada Post workers may not be avoided due to the current state of negotiations, according to an official with the union that recently gave a strike notice.

“I am not very confident, the way it’s going,” Gordon Fischer, the national director for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers’ (CUPW) prairie region, said in an interview Saturday morning on Global News.

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CUPW has given Canada Post until the end of the weekend to reach an agreement and avoid the union’s job action. If no deal is reached, Fischer said postal workers would begin a rotating strike on Monday morning that would slow down mail delivery.

READ MORE: Canada Post union issues strike notice; workers could begin rotating strikes Monday

“We want to give a message to Canada Post to bargain. What we don’t want to do is shut down the mail service entirely,” Fischer said.

“We know there are a lot of people that rely upon the mail service.”

There are a number of sticking points that still need to be worked out between the two sides. Fischer said letter carrier health and safety, as well as precarious employment, are two of the issues that CUPW is hoping to make ground on.

READ MORE: Here’s why Canada Post workers are threatening to go on strike

In a statement, Canada Post indicated that it “has made significant offers to CUPW which include increased wages, job security, and improved benefits and has not asked for any concessions in return.” However, Fischer said he doesn’t believe Canada Post’s offers go far enough.

If a strike does take place, Canada Post has said it will notify customers of any disruptions to service. Fischer added that locations for the rotating strike will be chosen by the union’s senior leadership.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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