No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

Striking Canada Post workers keep their hands warm as they picket at the South Central sorting facility in Toronto on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

Canada Post says Canadians can expect delays of parcel and mail delivery into 2019 as a result of rotating strikes by its employees.

And it says the worst delays will likely be in southern and southwestern Ontario because of a backlog of hundreds of transport trailers sitting idle at its main Toronto sorting facility.

The Crown corporation has told its commercial customers that it cannot honour its delivery standards for any product because of the prolonged strikes.

The walkouts have created massive backlogs of mail and parcels just days before an expected rush of millions more parcels from Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today repeated his call for both sides in the dispute to resolve their differences soon.

But he gave no indications that his government is prepared to force postal workers back to their jobs yet, saying only that he wants a deal, and that the government is considering what it can do to put an end to the labour dispute.

“We are, of course, very preoccupied with the fact that Christmas is coming, important shopping days are coming and we need to see a resolution to that,” Trudeau said as he arrived in Ottawa for a meeting with his cabinet.

“As I’ve said many times, all options are on the table,” he added when asked whether he was prepared to table back-to-work legislation.

READ MORE: Canada Post calls for ‘cooling off’ period to allow for mediated talks

Canada Post is dealing with a fifth week of rotating strikes by its unionized workers as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers yesterday turned down an offer for a holiday cooling-off period and a possible $1,000 bonus for its 50,000 members.

The rotating strikes moved today into several Ontario communities including Woodstock, St. Thomas, Chatham and three locations in Scarborough, and continued in Kelowna, B.C.

In a statement issued late Monday, Canada Post apologized to its customers for the continued delays resulting from the labour dispute, and warned that the exact length of delivery delays will be unpredictable.

“This is likely to be the situation for the foreseeable future, meaning the next several weeks, including the peak holiday season and through January 2019,” the company said.

The Canadian Press

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