Those depending on Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan cheques can still expect to see them in the mail, even if a Canada Post strike or lockout happens this weekend.
The Canada Revenue Agency says the OAS and CPP cheques, along with those for the Working Income Tax Benefit and the Canada Child Benefit, are deemed “essential” and will be delivered even during a labour disruption.
Cheques for the Working Income Tax Benefit will be delivered on July 5, while the others will be arrive on July 20.
The CRA says all other government benefit payments will not be mailed until normal operations resume at Canada Post.
It suggests those anticipating refunds or rebates sign up for direct deposit online to avoid payment delays. Employment and Social Development Canada says those collecting Employment Insurance who cannot sign up for direct deposit can call Service Canada to request their cheques be delivered to the nearest Service Canada location for pick up.
About 50,000 members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers will be in a legal strike or lockout position as of Saturday. The union says it has no immediate plans for a work stoppage but fears employees may be locked out by management.
The union and Canada Post both say the number one sticking point in negotiations involves changes to employee pension plans.
The postal service wants to offer defined-contribution pension plans to new employees. Current employees would still be eligible for defined-benefit pensions.
The union says it also has problems with what it calls a two-tier pay scale for rural and urban mail carriers.
Canada Post tabled new contract proposals last Saturday, but CUPW says it wants this Saturday’s deadline extended so it can have more time to consider the offer.
The last time Canada Post experienced a work stoppage was in 2011, which included 10 days of rotating strikes and a lockout before employees were legislated back to work by Ottawa.