OTTAWA - Canada Post has finally reached a tentative agreement with its largest group of unionized workers after a bitter dispute that has dragged on for more than a year.

The post office and Canadian Union of Postal Workers issued brief statements saying the deal was reached Friday, but neither side is releasing any details.

A series of rotating strikes by CUPW last year prompted Canada Post to lock out some 50,000 of its employees.

The Harper government responded with back-to-work legislation that forced workers to accept wages that amounted to less than Canada Post's last offer.

On other issues, the law imposed a form of winner-take-all arbitration in which both the union and the post office make a final offer, one of which would be accepted.

But the union twice objected to the government's choice of an arbitrator and the issue was fought in the courts.

A Canada Post spokesman says the tentative deal was reached without an arbitrator and is not an imposed settlement.

"We are pleased with this milestone and now look forward to devoting our collective energies to transform the business to face digital realities," said a brief statement from Canada Post.

The union said it was in the process of organizing ratification votes for the deal.

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