Canada Post Back To Work Legislation Passes Senate Approval – CUPW Reaction

Ottawa  – NOVEMBER 26 UPDATE  – Back to work legislation passed through Canada’s Senate.

With Bill C-89 receiving royal assent Monday night, CUPW postal workers will be back at their jobs by NOON ET (9 AM PT) Tuesday morning.

That would get the back logged holiday mail moving at a steady pace.

The bill was passed by a 53-25 margin, with four abstentions.

As expected, CUPW released a statement on their website as to their position, and no surprise, they are not please with the action.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is exploring all options to fight the back-to-work legislation passed in the Senate this evening, which will send our members back to the same old unresolved problems in the workplace at the busiest time of the year.

“Postal workers are rightly dismayed and outraged,” says Mike Palecek, CUPW National President. “This law violates of our right to free collective bargaining under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

Going back to work under the old collective agreements means that between now and the holidays:

  • At least 315 disabling injuries will happen to postal workers;
  • Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMC) will work roughly 250,000 hours without pay;
  • Urban postal workers will work thousands of hours of forced overtime;
  • RSMCs will continue to be treated, as Canada Post calls it, with “equity but not equality”.

Prior to this round of collective bargaining, the Trudeau Liberal government had claimed to be a champion for the labour movement, but through this legislation, it is clear that it has turned its back on postal workers.

“Postal workers will continue to defend our right to negotiate a settlement,” adds Palecek. “We know that an arbitrated contract will only prolong our problems with injuries, inequality, and overwork. If the Trudeau government thought that passing this legislation would end the dispute, they’ve made a mistake.”

NOVEMBER 24 ORIGINAL STORY – Federal Legislation ordering postal workers back to work passed Saturday morning in the House of Commons after a special session Friday night that dragged into the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Bill C-89 passed third reading by a vote of 166 to 43.

The Senate was sitting as of Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday.

The back to work order could go into effect at Noon ET on the day following royal assent.

Despite this move, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu encouraged Canada Post and CUPW to remain at the bargaining table. A Special Mediator was appointed on Tuesday.

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.

Meanwhile rotating strikes continue across the country. The deadline for the Proportional Representation mail in vote in BC was extended past the original November 30 drop dead date. The extension is now through December 7 at 4:30PM PT.


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