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Thursday, 16 June 2011 10:39

Feds to force Canada Post back to work

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By John R. Statton - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Swift Current
The federal government says it will legislate Canada Post workers back to work.

The Tories served a notice to introduce back-to-work legislation as early as next week.

"Our government is concerned about the effect this strike is having on Canada's economic recovery, and on Canadians," said Labour Minister Lisa Raitt in a statement June 15.

"Canadians give us a strong mandate to complete our economic recovery, and this is why we will put legislation on notice to ensure resumption and continuation of postal services."

The legislation would end the contract dispute between the 48,000 urban postal workers and Canada Post.

The government served the House of Commons the required 48-hour notice, which would strip the collective bargaining rights from workers.

"The union believes back-to-work legislation violates our fundamental right to bargain, and our rights as members of a so-called free society," said Denis Lamelin, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).

"Legislation will involve an imposed settlement where postal workers may be forced to accept unsafe, unfair, and unacceptable conditions."

To accommodate the federal NDP convention in Vancouver the House is not sitting June 17.

The earliest the legislation can debated in the House is June 20.

"This kind of coercion is not a good sign of what may come from our federal government over the next four years," said Lamelin.

"Today, postal workers from all over the country are protesting Canada Post's decision to lock them out."

Canada Post has recorded a loss of $100 million due to rotating strikes by unionized workers.

Postal workers are currently locked out by the company.

Lamelin indicated that there were fewer than 25 members on strike at the time the lockout was enforced.

In the rural southwest post offices remain open, but are not accepting mail over the counter.

"We're still getting a few people - we can sell postage,  we did a money-gram yesterday, we can do a few things," said the postmaster of the Gull Lake Post Office, who would only identify herself as Jody.

"We just can't accept mail across the counter or anything, but it's a little frustrating."


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