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Canada passes back-to-work legislation to end post workers’ strikes

30 November 2018
Canada passes back-to-work legislation to end post workers’ strikes

Canada Post on Tuesday revealed deeper losses it's booking because of a massive pay-equity order this year, while the federal government insisted back-to-work legislation that sent striking postal workers back to their jobs is constitutional.

It was reported Monday night, following two days of debate, that the legislation had passed by a Senate vote of 53 to 25 with four senators abstaining.

Bill C-89 was debated in the upper chamber on Saturday after the Liberal government fast-tracked the legislation through the House of Commons.

The legislation goes into effect Tuesday at noon.

The Canadian government said the passage of the bill is urgent due to the economic impact of continued mail disruptions during the busy holiday season.

In a statement issued Monday evening, the union says it's "exploring all options".

CUPW's 50,000 members are demanding better pay for rural and suburban carriers, more job security and minimum guaranteed hours.

CUPW also wants Canada Post to adopt rules that it says would cut down on workplace injuries - an issue the union has said is now at a "crisis" level.

The strikes affected hundreds of communities and led Canada Post in mid-November to ask the rest of the world to stop sending in mail until it had cleared a backlog.

Picket lines were up Monday in parts of British Columbia, including Vancouver, Richmond and Surrey, and in parts of Ontario, including Hamilton, Ajax, North York, Pickering and London.

Workers at the Canada Post processing plant on Almon Street and the Dartmouth delivery centre on Topple Drive will not be processing or delivering mail "until further notice".

Canada Post says unprecedented backlogs will continue to mean lengthy delays for customers dropping parcels and letters in the mail.

If you're expecting a parcel from another country, internationally shipped items may experience delays stretching into March, 2019, Canada Post said.

Labour Minister Patty Hajdu defended the constitutionality of the Liberal government's back-to-work bill for Canada Post workers on Tuesday, saying it will ultimately be up to the courts to weigh in should the legislation be legally challenged by the union. If an agreement is not reached, however, a settlement could be imposed by the arbitrator. "And it still might be too late", Conservative Sen.

Dodsworth said the tone of negotiations changed when the government hinted two weeks ago that it would consider back-to-work legislation.

But another independent, Sen. The union claims it is fighting for "health and safety, equitable treatment, fair wages and working conditions and the democratic right to free collective bargaining".

"Because the right to strike is a fundamental right".