August 30, 2016 - 4:53 PM
OTTAWA - Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk says Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have reached tentative agreements, averting the prospect of a labour dispute that has loomed over the talks for months.
In a statement, Mihychuk says the agreements were reached "voluntarily," but provides no other details about the deals themselves.
The issue of differences in paycheques for rural mail carriers — most of whom are women — and urban letter carriers had been at the forefront of protracted contract talks between the two sides.
The negotiations were extended twice since the weekend, when a deadline expired on a 72-hour job action notice issued last Thursday by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
The two sides were in talks nearly around the clock at the request of a special mediator appointed Friday by Mihychuk.
Canada Post described the tentative agreements as short-term. It said they are for two years and that four-year contracts were typically negotiated in the past.
"The agreements will avert a work disruption, bringing much-needed certainty in the postal system for our employees and customers," said Canada Post in a statement. "Canadians can now use the postal system with confidence."
The tentative agreements, however, still must be ratified by the members.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is Canada Post's largest union, representing more than 50,000 postal workers
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016