OTTAWA – The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has scored a significant victory in its fight against the Harper government’s treatment of postal workers.
In a decision handed down October 20th in the Federal Court, Judge Luc Martineau ordered a stay of proceedings relating to the Harper government’s back-to-work legislation (Bill C-6) against thousands of locked-out postal workers in June. The arbitration will now stop until the union’s challenge of the government’s hand-picked arbitrator can be heard in January 2012.
“This decision shows that the union is on the right track. We are questioning the process by which this government has forced its will on postal workers,” said Denis Lemelin, CUPW National President and chief negotiator.
Members of CUPW’s urban unit went on rotating strike in June and were subsequently locked out by Canada Post, then legislated back to work. The union has also launched a separate constitutional challenge against the back-to-work legislation itself, which directs the arbitrator to pick one side only without any possibility of compromise.
The Martineau decision bolsters the union’s objection to Minister of Labour Lisa Raitt’s appointment of Anthony Arthur Coulter Osborne – a unilingual judge without any previous experience in labour relations – to preside over the arbitration. The merits of the union’s case will be argued in January.
Normally, arbitrators are agreed upon by the parties, rather than being imposed by the government. Observers have noted the importance of CUPW’s challenges for the future of labour relations in Canada.
Ottawa (ON) â€“ The Canada Post Group* today reported that it experienced a continued deterioration in its core Canada Post segment in 2010.
In the Canada Post annual report, which was tabled with the Clerk of the House of Commons today, the company disclosed that earnings before income taxes in the Canada Post segment in 2010 were $233 million, a 27% decrease from 2009. Volume in the companyâ€™s flagship domestic Lettermail business decreased by 4.5% from 2009. That marked the fourth consecutive year-over-year decrease in domestic Lettermail volumes and fifth consecutive year of decrease in volumes per address in Canada. Total volumes in the Canada Post segment (comprised of the Transaction Mail, Parcels and Direct Marketing lines of business) decreased by 1.8% from 2009. Revenue from Operations for The Canada Post Group totalled $7.5 billion.
The Canada Post pension plan continued to pose a significant financial burden on the Group in 2010. The plan had a liability of $16 billion and a pension solvency deficit of $3.2 billion at the end of 2010. Canada Post made $746 million in cash contributions to the pension plan in 2010, including $425 million in special payments relating to the solvency deficit. As a result, Canada Post generated negative cash from operating activities in 2010.
Driven by a non-cash income tax entry of $192 million, The Canada Post Group* recorded consolidated net income of $439 million in 2010.
* The Canada Post Group is comprised of the core Canada Post segment, subsidiaries Purolator and SCI Group and Innovapost, a joint venture with CGI Group. The Canada Post segment accounted for almost 80% of the Groupâ€™s revenues in 2010.