Canada Post and its union reached a tentative agreement Saturday following negotiations that had dragged on for more than a year.
"I have always said that the best solution to any labour dispute is one that the parties reach themselves," Labour Minister Lisa Raitt said in a statement Saturday. "I am very pleased that Canada Post and the CUPW returned to the bargaining table and worked together to reach an agreement that is supported by both parties."
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers Urban Operations Unit represents approximately 50,000 urban postal workers, whose collective agreement expired on January 31, 2011. This negotiated agreement is subject to ratification by union members.
Last year, Parliament passed the Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act to end the Canada Post work stoppage involving the Urban Operations Unit. The legislation also provided the parties with a binding arbitration resolution process, and nothing in the legislation prevented the parties from entering into an agreement before the arbitrator rendered a decision.
"Our government acted to restore mail services and end the harm that the work stoppage was causing to small businesses, consumers, and the Canadian economy, as no resolution was forthcoming at that time," Raitt said. "I have always said that nothing in the legislation prevented the parties from negotiating, and I commend them on independently coming together to find solutions and reach a tentative agreement."
Canada Post and the CUPW Rural and Suburban Operations Unit also reached a tentative agreement regarding approximately 6,000 postal workers whose collective agreement expired on December 31, 2011.