Looming postal strike would disrupt work-permit applications

29 Jun 16



What is the change? Canada’s postal workers are set to go on strike Saturday if a collective bargaining agreement is not reached before then.

What does the change mean? Companies and individuals should plan for a possible strike, which would disrupt mail service across Canada. If the workers strike, applicants should also expect delays in receiving work permit extensions, as all work permit extensions are sent to applicants via regular mail only.

  • Implementation time frame: A strike would begin no earlier than Saturday, July 2.
  • Visas/permits affected: All mailed applications; all work permit extensions.
  • Impact on processing times: If a strike occurs, Canada Post will cease operations, delivery and acceptance of mail throughout Canada.
  • Business impact: Depending on the length of the strike, business schedules may be affected.
  • Next steps: Applicants should use overnight mail for time-sensitive mailings.

Background: The Canadian Union of Postal Workers, representing 50,000 postal workers, has been in contract negotiations for months with Canada Post, the primary postal delivery service, over retirement benefits and overtime.

The parties are in a “cooling off” period with a July 2 deadline. On Tuesday, the union’s request for a two-week extension of negotiations was denied, making a strike more likely.

BAL Analysis: Employers and individual applicants should be aware that in the event of a strike, delivery of work-permit and other applications will be disrupted or halted, and applicants who filed work-permit extensions online will see a delay in receiving their extensions in the mail. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has not indicated alternate measures in the event of a strike, but BAL is following developments and will report any changes.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Canada. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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