Postal Workers Will Look After Pension and Social Assistance Cheques

OTTAWA, May 18 /CNW/ - Postal workers will continue to deliver cheques to pensioners and social assistance recipients even in the event of a national strike or lockout.

With the deadline to reach a settlement just a week away, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers wants the public to know that their issue is with their employer Canada Post, not retirees or those on low incomes.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers offered to deliver pension and social assistance cheques early on in their negotiations with Canada Post. The details have now been worked out. Volunteers from the union will deliver federal Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Child Benefits cheques, as well as provincial social assistance cheques in Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the North West Territories.

Some provincial and territorial governments, including Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, B.C, Yukon and Nunavut have informed Canada Post that they would opt out of this plan.

"We are pleased that we were able to make this agreement with Canada Post to deliver pension and social assistance cheques," said Denis Lemelin, national president and chief negotiator of CUPW at a press conference held today in Ottawa. "The agreement shows that we can negotiate solutions and we will continue to try to negotiate solutions."

While the union is doing its best to reach a settlement, the two sides remain far apart on many issues. Canada Post, now in its sixteenth consecutive year of profits, is demanding new hires take a wage cut and is trying to impose a new and inferior sick leave plan on all employees. For its part, the union has demands that have yet to be resolved, including important health and safety issues.

"We have one signed agreement, we are aiming for another," said Lemelin, "a decent collective agreement that will preserve good postal service and jobs."

The union will be able to exercise its right to strike and Canada Post its right to lock out at midnight on May 24th. Both parties must provide 72 hours notice of their intention prior to a strike or lockout.

SOURCE CANADIAN UNION OF POSTAL WORKERS

For further information:

please contact Aalya Ahmad, CUPW Communications, 613-327-1177

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CANADIAN UNION OF POSTAL WORKERS

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