Federal Government Moves Forward on Legislating Canada Post Workers Back to Work
The federal government has tabled legislation that will force Canada Post employees back to work, but says it’s still hopeful that both sides can continue negotiations.
Labour Minister Patty Hajdu called the move a “procedural step,” adding that the government believes a deal is still possible.
Today we took a procedural step but we still believe a deal is possible. I continue to encourage the parties to get to a deal. pic.twitter.com/cA3ln23Avj— Patty Hajdu (@PattyHajdu) November 22, 2018
In a statement posted to Twitter, Hajdu says that, for nearly a year, the government has been “supporting and encouraging” Canada post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) to reach new negotiated collective agreements.
Hajdu says that, throughout the process, both parties were assisted by federal conciliation officers, mediators and a special mediator.
The federal government has re-appointed the special mediator while the parties work to reach a deal.
The move to table legislation comes after CUPW said that customers might not receive packages in time for Christmas.
“This ongoing work stoppage has had significant negative impacts on Canadians, businesses, international commerce, Canada Post, its workers and their families,” Hajdu wrote.
“Canadians and businesses rely on Canada Post and its workers, especially during the busy retail season. With Canadians and Canadian businesses feeling seriou impacts, our government is prepared to legislate a path forward to keep goods moving for Canadians.”
Hajdu said that, if required, the legislation would set out a process by which the parties would return to work while continuing negotiations with an independent mediator-arbitrator.
“Our government does not take this step lightly, and it is intended as a last resort,” Hajdu wrote.
“While the step we have taken today is procedural, the Government of Canada is prepared to take action in the interests of Canadians. We still believe a deal is possible and I continue to encourage the parties to get to a deal before the legislation is passed.”
Rotating Canada Post strikes have been in effect since October.
CUPW has spoken out against the move, warning of health and safety consequences for employees.