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Available Expert - Canada Post issues 72hr lockout notice

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Queen's University labour historian Christo Aivalis is available to comment on the possibility of a labour disruption at Canada Post. Early Tuesday, the company issued a 72 hour lockout notice to the union, as ongoing negotiations for a new agreement had reached an impasse.

"It has become somewhat clear that the union was going to avoid taking a definitive strike position, regardless of the strike vote itself, and that the employer wants some pretty steep concessions - likely more impactful than the union's demands," says Dr. Aivalis.

"In essence, the employer asserts that union demands will cost too much money, and are in contravention of historical trajectories in mail delivery patterns. Given this, Canada Post rejects the call for increased equality between urban workers and its female-dominated rural staff. It also seems to be pushing for a revision of company's pension plan, emphasizing a different model for all new hires, which will effectively create different models of compensation for people doing the same work," he adds.

Dr. Aivalis says that, while the lockout notices doesn't necessarily mean it will occur, it can be seen as a strong pressure tactic to see if concessions can be wrestled from the union. If a lockout occurs, the result will be a stoppage of most mail and parcel delivery.

Dr. Christo Aivals is an adjunct professor in the Department of History at Queen's University with a research focus on Canadian political and labour history. He is currently located in Ottawa, Ont. and is available for print and radio interviews by phone.

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