The union is demanding that Canada Post creates an hourly wage for rural and suburban mail carriers, 70 per cent of whom are women.
Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, is surrounded by members of the national board and negotiating team as he speaks to reporters to discuss the ongoing labour dispute with Canada Post on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 in Ottawa.
The issue is the latest stumbling block in negotiations between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
A spokesperson says the company has a contingency plan to hire more staff and institute overtime hours, should a work stoppage occur.
"It is our hope that CUPW will consider submitting to binding arbitration to end the uncertainty".
As recently as Thursday, the union and Canada Post appeared to be miles apart on several major issues following seven months of negotiations.
In the past two weeks employees have threatened to strike, and management has threatened to lock out employees. "They now earn on average almost 30% less than their mostly male counterparts in the larger urban unit".
Canada Post has said it will lockout its 50,000 unionized employees Monday at 12:01 a.m. ET.in the event that a deal is not reached. They now earn on average nearly 30 per cent less than their mostly male counterparts in the larger urban unit.
The Canada Revenue Agency has deemed Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan, Working Income Tax Benefit and the Canada Child Benefit cheques "essential"- even during a labour disruption. On Wednesday, Canada Post agreed to the proposal as a way to resolve the impasse with negotiations.
The federal government has said it will stay out of a looming work stoppage for now, putting the onus on Canada Post and the union to come to an agreement quickly before the mail stops being delivered.