Canada Post Talks Continue; Strike Deadline Extended to Wednesday

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Negotiators for Canada Post and its postal workers' union continued to talk this morning past their deadline after a day of optimism that a strike or lockout could be avoided, the Canadian Press reported.


Talks between the Crown corporation and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers were extended until 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, averting a strike or a lockout today, according to news reports.


Both sides said Monday that so long as negotiators stay at the table, progress is being made.


Canada Post spokesman John Caines said the talks have come down to final language.


"There's a lot of fine tuning that has to take place," he said yesterday. "We are getting closer to a deal. Now, when it gets done is anybody's guess."


"I think it shows a lot of faith, and it also shows that both parties think we're close enough to keep on going," he said early today. "You know this is the third time now that we've passed the deadline, and I think it bodes well for the company, the union and our customers."


Negotiations had continued through the weekend after an initial Friday morning strike deadline was extended to Sunday night. That deadline was put off again for a 24-hour period.


CUPW president Deborah Bourque acknowledged that such extensions are unusual during contract negotiations, but says they were necessary.


"But obviously, we think the extensions are important as long as there's something to talk about," she said.


Job security, benefits, wages, retirement, workload and safety remained among the key issues as an initial strike deadline loomed last week. Neither side was willing yesterday to divulge which of those issues have been settled.


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