Canada Post profitable in 2012 due to new union contract

Labour deal reached with CUPW recorded non-cash adjustments of $152 million

Canada Post enjoyed a profit of $127 million in 2012 due in large part to a new collective agreement with its postal workers.

The company had expected to see a loss of $54 million last year, due to a 30 per cent drop in letter mail. However, parcel deliveries were up 6.7 per cent, attributed to an increase in online shopping.

“We are working to lower our overall labour cost structure,” Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton told the Toronto Star. “We have made some progress,” he said, adding increased technology has led to more pre-sorting.

Labour agreements reached with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) recorded non-cash adjustments of $152 million, according to Hamilton.

The deals came after a labour dispute in 2011 that saw rotating strikes and a lockout that shut down the postal service for almost one month. Back-to-work legislation ordered the dispute to be resolved through arbitration. The union challenged Ottawa’s choice of arbitrators and won, so arbitration didn’t happen, leaving the two sides left to flesh out a deal on their own. The four-year deal will see a wage freeze in 2015.

In 2011, Canada Post’s mail, parcel and digital delivery segment recorded a loss of $327 million. The company blames part of that on a landmark $150 million pay equity decision, though no money has been paid out yet in the pay equity case, according to the Star.

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