Back To Work Legislation Tabled In Canada Post Dispute – CUPW + CLC Issue Communique

Ottawa – NOVEMBER 22 UPDATE (with files from CP)- The federal government introduced legislation on Thursday morning that could force back striking Canada Post workers, back  to work, but there is a caveat.

The Trudeau Liberals said it would hold off debating the bill to give a special mediator time to settle the labour dispute.

Critics complained the move undermined the collective-bargaining process just one day after mediator Morton Mitchnick resumed efforts to break the impasse between the Crown corporation and its 50,000 employees.

Meanwhile CUPW and the CLC Canadian Labour Congress issued a joint statement in support of workers:

The Canadian Labour Congress joins the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) in calling on Canada Post to negotiate fair contracts for postal workers. The CLC also joins CUPW in condemning the federal government’s back-to-work legislation.

“The right to strike is an integral part of collective bargaining. Without it, an employer has no incentive to bargain in good faith, and workers have no recourse to demand a fair process,” said CLC President, Hassan Yussuff.

“This federal government was supposed to be different from the last, and yet here we are again,” said CUPW President, Mike Palecek. “Trudeau is showing his true colours and the anti-worker agenda shared with former Prime Minister Harper. He knows we have always been prepared to bargain in good faith and to negotiate – quickly – fair collective agreements for our members. He could have directed Canada Post to do the same.”

Palecek added “Back-to-work legislation has serious long-term impacts on the work environment and on labour relations. Once contracts are imposed that don’t address our core concerns around unsafe working conditions, equality for rural carriers, and access to secure full-time middle-class jobs, that’s just more ground we’ll continue to struggle to regain.”

The Harper Conservative government’s back-to-work legislation in 2011 drove postal workers to accept regressive contracts. It was later ruled unconstitutional. After a federal review of the postal service, the Liberal government made it a priority to improve labour relations at Canada Post. Back-to-work legislation will seriously damage that effort.

“We are calling on the federal government to allow for a fair process by encouraging workers and the employer to come to an agreement that works for everyone,” said Yussuff. “This back-to-work legislation is a clear violation of workers’ Charter rights. CUPW successfully fought to have this right explicitly upheld by the Supreme Court.”

NOVEMBER 21 UPDATE – Back to work legislation from the Federal Liberals could be coming sooner than later

Federal Labour Minister Patty Hajdu says the government have given the House of Commons notice that they’re prepared to legislate Canada Post employees back to work.

48 hours notice is required before introducing back-to-work legislation. That could mean the forced back to work order could happen late Thursday night Eastern Time.

A Special Mediator was appointed on Tuesday, so it is hoped that back to work legislation will not be needed to end the five week long rotating strikes by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

CUPW’s key demands for postal workers are job security, an end to forced overtime and overburdening, better health and safety measures, service expansion and equality for RSMC’s (Rural and Suburban Mail Carrier) . The concern there is they are not paid the same as regular full time employees.

NOVEMBER 20 ORIGINAL STORY – – The war of words and posturing continues between Canada post management and CUPW- the workers union.

CUPW’s key demands for postal workers are job security, an end to forced overtime and overburdening, better health and safety measures, service expansion and equality for RSMC’s (Rural and Suburban Mail Carrier) . The concern there is they are not paid the same as regular full time employees.

From the CUPW website on Tuesday – 

In an effort to achieve negotiated collective agreements and end the strike activities, the Minister of Labour, Ms Patty Hajdu has given mediator Mr. Morton Mitchnick another mandate.

This government has said they agree that a negotiated settlement is the best resolution in the long run, they believe in free collective bargaining and agreed to renew the mandate of the mediator Morton Mitchnick for a short period of time. CUPW believes that the threat of back-to-work legislation will undermine the chances of negotiated settlements. We’ll do our best to reach a negotiated settlement as quickly as possible with the assistance of the mediator. We will see shortly if this was a real attempt to achieve negotiated settlements.

We have been consistent in our approach and our communications that this round of bargaining is about correcting key issues that impact all postal workers. These issues are health and safety, staffing, over-burdening, job security, a reduction in precarious employment, pay for all hours worked and a better work-life balance.

From the Canada Post Website on Tuesday-

The strikes are now into their fifth week and have touched virtually every Canada Post facility and every Canadian address so far.

The postal service remains operational, but Canada Post has advised commercial customers that it is not able to honour its delivery standards for any product because of prolonged and ongoing rotating strikes. The strikes have created massive backlogs of mail and parcels already in our network, just days before we expect millions more parcels from Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales.

While there will be delays across the country, Canada Post expects the worst delays for mail and parcels will be for items that originate or are destined for southern and southwestern Ontario.

Customers can go to canadapost.ca/update for updates or follow us on twitter @canadapostcorp for the latest developments.

Thank you for your continued patience.

1 Comment on "Back To Work Legislation Tabled In Canada Post Dispute – CUPW + CLC Issue Communique"

  1. FREEZE ALL CANADA POST MANAGEMENT BONUSES FOR THE NEXT 4 YEARS AND YOU WILL SEE HOW FAST THEY COME UP WITH A SATISFACTORY AGREEMENT WITH THE UNION

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