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Postal workers union give details of possible job action

Last Updated Aug 28, 2016 at 5:11 pm EST

A Canada Post employee drives a mail truck through downtown Halifax on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. Canada Post has issued a lockout notice to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), possibly triggering a work stoppage by Friday, July 8. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Contract talks continued between Canada Post and its largest union Sunday afternoon, with neither side hinting as to whether any progress had been made.

A federally appointed mediator began meeting with the two sides on Friday to try to reach a deal.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said if there was no deal by midnight, it would begin job action on Monday by having its members refuse to work overtime on a rotating basis, starting in Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

CUPW served 72 hour strike notice Thursday night, accusing Canada Post of forcing a labour disruption by refusing to bargain in good faith.

The two sides have been deadlocked for months on the issues of pay scales for rural letter carriers and proposed changes to pensions for future employees.

On Sunday, the union said its initial plans for job action would have little effect on Canada Post customers.

“Our action will cause little to no disruption to the public,” national president Mike Palecek said in a statement. “We’ll still be delivering mail every day.”

But a spokesman for Canada Post said the union’s threat of job action was still creating uncertainty for customers.

“Anyone who is trying to plan their usage of the postal system in the coming days is questioning whether or not it will be able to get there, and that is going to have a huge impact on the business whether the union likes it or not,” Jon Hamilton said in a phone interview.