If Canada Post opens up its finances to substantiate its claim that union demands will cost an additional $1 billion, there could be some agreement, at least on the crucial pension issue, says a Toronto employment lawyer.
Muneeza Sheikh told CTV News Channel Tuesday that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers will undoubtedly demand to see the Crown corporation’s books. Canada Post should agree if it’s serious about giving the union the full picture.
“I think the most prudent thing for Canada Post to do at this point is to say, ‘Look, these are the numbers.’ And I think once they do that, at least on the pension issue, there will be a meeting of the minds.”
Sheikh says the Canada Post’s 72-hour warning of a lockout, which could begin Friday, is “completely lawful” and within the parameters of the collective agreement with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
She said the warning is a message to “get serious and come to the table or understand if there is a lockout, it’s going to affect the business side of things.”
Canada Post has already warned that the sluggish negotiations have affected mail volumes. A lockout of any length will only hurt the bottom line more, said Sheikh, a partner at Levitt LLP.
“If essentially you have a situation where there is a lockout for an extended period of time, what the unionized employees need to understand is, even after the lockout is over, there may not be a job to come back to.”
Sheikh said there is public pressure on both sides to reach a deal.