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They do this every time. The union prepares a global offer, presumably with the hope of reaching a settlement, Canada Post’s negotiators go off and huddle to consider it and then – even mid huddle – the corporate communications team comes out with a statement denouncing the union’s demands because they would [insert numeric factoid intimating dramatically higher costs here].

Thankfully, now we have the internet. Canada Post and Canada Newswire don’t make their news release archives public, but the internet’s memory is much longer. And searchable.

Some rounds of bargaining they take it to the individual: “CUPW’s demands would raise the price of a stamp by 20 cents [1997]” or “double the cost of sending a first class letter”. This time they’re being a little more abstract, assigning the union’s global offer a $1.4 billion price tag.

Whatever. I’ve found one such rubbish cost estimate. I’m sure my comrades at CUPW who are familiar with more recent rounds of negotiations will be happy to spend a little time over at the Wayback Machine during the inevitable ‘hurry up and wait’ of crunch bargaining digging up the others. Good hunting.

I hope neither side gets phased by the corporation’s purple prose. I hope the Canada Post negotiators don’t take it as their mandate to close up shop and I hope the union doesn’t take it seriously, because both parties have to stay cool right now to stay at the table until there’s a settlement, or if there’s to be a stoppage, to walk out over something real.