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Canada Post Set for Labour Disruption as Early as This Weekend: ‘They are Asking us to Sell Out Our Future co-workers’



Pensions for new hires at the post office appear to be the main sticking point as talks between Canada Post and its 50,000 unionized workers go down to the wire, with the post office warning that mail movement could stop on July 2.

Canada Post, which turned a $44-million profit in the first quarter of 2016, is insisting that new employees get a less generous pension package than the one offered to existing letter carriers and postal plant workers. This infuriates the postal union.

“They are asking us to sell out our future co-workers and agree to major cuts,” Mike Palecek, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said from Ottawa.

Canada Post and its workers have been negotiating for seven months, including three months of talks at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Ottawa.

The post office, a crown corporation, has made up for declines in letter mail, and now delivers two out of every three purchases that Canadians make online. Canada Post grew its parcel revenue by 12.5 per cent in the first three months of 2016.

“They are enjoying healthy profits, so we don’t see any justification for the cuts that they are putting forward,” Palecek said.

In last year’s federal election the Liberals promised to halt Canada Post’s cuts to home delivery of mail. After its victory the Trudeau government requested that Deepak Chopra, chief executive of Canada Post, resign. Outgoing prime minister Stephen Harper had extended Chopra’s contract by another five years, effective Feb. 1, 2016, just before the election call. Chopra has refused to step down.

“There was an election where the public rejected austerity and cuts at the post office,” Palecek said. “But we still have Harper appointees running the post office.”

Millions of Canadians rely on Canada Post to receive and pay bills. Marilyn Levy, a retiree in Montreal who does not own a computer,  has already called Bell Canada to warn them that, “If you don’t bring me my bill, you don’t get paid.”Advertisement

Entrepreneurs should step into the breach, she said.

“Why don’t they have a little truck that goes around and brings us our bill?” she asked. “It’s not rocket science. Give young people work.”

Liz Attfield, a senior director at Stephen Thomas Ltd., which creates fundraising mail for non-profits such as the Canadian Cancer Society and Médecins Sans Frontières, says a postal disruption will hurt charities.

“Charities won’t be getting those fundraising cheques that they need to provide support and resources to people who need them around the world,” she said.

Her company also pays suppliers and receives payments through the mail.

The two sides in the postal dispute appear far apart.

“We face a $6.2-billion pension solvency deficit,” Jon Hamilton, a spokesman for Canada Post, said from Ottawa. “The government gave us relief from making pension solvency payments, which will expire in 2017. In 2017 we could have to pay $1 billion a year in pension contributions.”

The post office also wants to create temporary and part-time jobs to deliver packages that Canadians purchase in the evening or on weekends.

“Paying double-time to offer that service in peak times is not viable in the long term,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton said the union has not yet responded to its offer.

“This should be an all-out 24-hour a day discussion to get a deal,” he said. “We are prepared to work around the clock.”

Canada Post workers last held rotating walkouts in 2011; Canada Post quickly locked the workers out and shut down the mail system. Hamilton said that could happen again.

Palecek said his members have voted to strike but would prefer to keep talking. The union wants the post office to extend  talks for two weeks, but the post office refuses.

“We are not looking to kick the can down the road,” Hamilton said. “Any further delay makes the uncertainty worse.”

Along with protecting benefits, the union wants Canada Post to offer banking services, as is common for post offices across Europe. The union also wants rural letter carriers, mainly women, to earn the same wages as urban workers, mainly men, whose wages are about 28 per cent higher.

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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