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Strike looming for Canada Post workers

Mail service may shut down Friday unless Canada Post and its unionized workers reach a deal to avert a strike.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers served 72-hour strike notice Monday, saying the company’s revised final offer is inadequate.

“Striking is our only real bargaining lever with Canada Post and we have concluded that we must give notice that we are willing to use our legal right to strike to get a decent contract that meets the needs of our members and preserves public postal service,” CUPW national president Denis Lemelin said.

The union has asked for wage hikes of 3.3 per cent in the first year and 2.75 per cent in each of the next three years.

Canada Post has offered a four-year contract lifting pay 1.9 per cent in each of the first three years and two per cent in the fourth. Postal workers currently start at about $23 an hour.

Issues at the table include changing technology and concessions on wages and benefits for new hires.

Mail and parcel delivery would be halted in a strike, but federal pension and old age security cheques would still be delivered. Both sides indicated they still hope to reach an agreement before the strike deadline of midnight Thursday.

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