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Canada Post lockout looming

July 2016
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Canada Post has provided a 72-hour notice of lockout to its employees, taking effect on this coming Friday.

That does not necessarily result in a lockout at that time, but Canada Post will be allowed to “take measures that are necessary to respond to the changing business reality.”  The labour dispute, if it comes to fruition, will not be a strike. This is not action by the employees, but rather that of the management of the corporation shutting down mail operations rather than negotiating a settlement with its employees.

Since Canada Post is a crown corporation, a lockout does provide an unfair advantage to the employer. It isn’t really a company per se. With a regular company, locking out the employees for an extended period will eventually result in the business going bankrupt. If you don’t operate, than you make no income and eventually, that ends poorly. The system does provide for some incentive for the employees and employer to eventually come to some agreement. In the case of a crown corporation, this incentive is only on the heads of the employees, and the employer gets to act with impunity.

Therefore, here is my modest suggestion for federal crown corporations. To ensure that services are provided and labour relations function on a fair footing, in case of lockout, where management has opted to close the operations, managers should not be paid until the lockout ends. Suddenly, that equal incentive comes back into play…

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