Canada Post Corp. is sticking to its proposal to introduce a defined contribution pension plan for new workers as it issues a 72-hour lockout notice to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

“Canada Post has notified the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) that it will be changing the terms and conditions of employment for all employees represented by the union starting Friday, July 8, 2016,” the company said in a news release today. “The uncertainty caused by the prolonged negotiations and the union’s strike mandate is having a negative and escalating impact on the postal service.”

The latest development follows its announcement yesterday that it was deeming its June 25 offer to the union to be a final one. On July 1, the union tabled an offer that included wage increases of up to three per cent and rejected what it called a two-tier pension framework with new employees joining a defined contribution pension plan. The company says the union’s offer would add at least $1 billion in costs over the term of the proposed collective agreement.

Read: How Air Canada’s pension took off as Canada Post’s plan sank into deficit

“Their demands completely ignored the pension issues as well as other significant challenges faced by the postal service. Simply put, their demands are not affordable,” the company said yesterday.

The company also said it would withdraw the June 25 offer should the union not accept it before the expiration of a 72-hour notice provided by either party. The union calls the company’s stance a threat and says the majority of employees would receive a wage increase of 0.75 per cent or less under Canada Post’s final offer.

“They refused to negotiate fairly with us and now they ‘re locking the doors and will try to starve us into submission,” said union president Mike Palecek in a news release today.

Read: Canada Post, union clash over pension as work disruption looms

Despite the lockout notice, the company says it doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t operate as of Friday. “As of Friday, July 8, 2016, the terms and conditions of the current collective agreements will no longer apply,” it said in today’s news release.

“Under the new terms and conditions, employees will continue to receive their regular pay and some benefits such as applicable prescription drug coverage.”

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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