Written for Montreal Gazette.
Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers agreed late Monday to extend a mediation effort aimed at resolving their labour dispute by another 24 hours.
Both Canada Post and CUPW said late Monday that both sides would continue to negotiate with the help of a special mediator into Tuesday.
Canada Post has been bargaining with its employees for more than nine months, but both sides were far apart as of late last week on key issues including pension changes for new employees and pay scales for rural postal workers.
CUPW had said it would begin job action on Monday by having its members refuse to work overtime on a rotating basis, starting in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. That plan was halted when both sides agreed to a request for more time from a special mediator, who was brought into the dispute Friday.
The union then said job action in the form of a refusal of overtime would begin in British Columbia and in the Yukon on Tuesday morning if no settlement was reached with Canada Post.
CUPW said that plan “has been put on hold for another 24 hours.”
“We are hopeful that a negotiated settlement may be achieved but we remain prepared to defend our members and public postal services,” CUPW national president Mike Palecek said in a statement.