Union: Canada Post back to work legislation quashes free collective bargaining

Postal workers across the country could be forced back to work under a bill that their union is calling unnecessary, unjust, and counterproductive. Minister of Labour Lisa Raitt today served notice of the government’s intent to introduce back-to-work legislation.Denis Lemelin, CUPW National President, said ‘We never got a chance in this round of bargaining. Canada Post spent months just saying “no” and misleading the public about our proposals. Now, as we call for a meeting with Canada Post’s President, the Harper government is going to rescue him from any responsibility to negotiate realistically with the workers.’The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has been trying to bring proposals to the bargaining table that address health and safety issues around Canada Post’s new sorting machines and delivery methods. It has also offered proposals for innovation and expansion of the public postal service.According to the union, Canada Post’s focus on concessions has made it impossible to negotiate. CUPW members are fighting to keep their collective agreement from being eroded and are also resisting wage rollbacks for new hires.’If this bill passed, we would have the very outcome that nobody wants,’ continued Lemelin. ‘An imposed settlement brings down terms that neither party has agreed to.”We believe in free speech, free association, and free collective bargaining. This legislation hurts the values that our country stands for and is an attack on workers’ rights and standard of living.”’We will nevertheless continue to struggle for the rights of our members, the rights of all workers, and a just society built on decent jobs.’

  • coco

    were we really that surprised with a majority conservative government that is anti-union.do you really think they were going give cupw what they wanted.

  • pawel

    my back hurts ..lets just walk around with air canada signs …those are the only people where helping…..its not like we’re helping ourselves

  • Downwardly Mobile

    The mail is an essential service and this labor dispute is disruptive to both the economy and everyday citizens. It’s time it ended and I support the government’s actions.

    I work in the technology field and make the same wage as I did ten years ago with no adjustment for inflation, despite converting my two-year technology credential to a four-year one. Unskilled postal workers make more than many of the well-educated (including me) by dint of being in a protected industry, and thus they can expect little sympathy from the public.

  • brian

    So you make the same wage you did ten years ago? And you have a four year degree! Has it occurred to you that maybe you made some spectacularly poor career moves? I don’t have the numbers, but I think it’s safe to assume that the average Canadian is making considerably more than they were in 2001. If you aren’t, that’s your problem- postal workers didn’t cause that! You sound like the typical tea-bagger in the US who whines constantly about how bad things are for him/her, but doesn’t blame the fat cats that run the country, and who are doing spectacularly well- no, you take the direction of right wing talk show hosts and blame other middle class Canadians who are doing slightly better than you are.
    Try taking some responsibility for your situation! No one stopped you from going to work for Canada Post did they? No one forced you to take a tech job that could probably be done for half what you make by someone in Bangalore, did they?
    There are plenty of postal workers with college degrees. They discovered that their degrees weren’t going to pay the bills, so they swallowed their pride and started working the mail. You didn’t. Too bad- get over it.
    Stop being envious of people who made better decisions than you did, and do something about your own life!
    I have no idea what you look like, but I suspect that if I look up “loser” in the dictionary, I’ll see a picture of you…

  • dave

    i have a small business that relies on the mail for payment.the postal strike has me almost bankrupt with plenty of receivables that aren,t paid because of strike.however all my my bills are sent to me by email.i work ten times as hard for half the pay and can,t get paid.it is an essential service and should not be allowed to strike.it is time for privatization

  • brian

    dave- you say Canada Post is an “essential service”, and shouldn’t be allowed to strike- why does that lead you to privatizing them? What does one have to do with the other? In the US, UPS is a private company, but their employees can (and do) go on strike. Meanwhile, the USPS is a government agency, but its employees are not allowed to strike by law. Your comment doesn’t add up.


    We also have a small business that relies on the mail for payment – and bills are still there but our cheques as that old saying goes are in the mail – may and june are the receivables that make our year but that is not going to happen this year -thank you Canada Post.