New back-to-work legislation to be introduced by Minister of Labour Lisa Raitt is threatening Canada Post workers' intentions to bring health and safety and other issues to the collective bargaining table and will result in "imposed settlement" between the two parties, according to the union representing Canada Post.
Canada Post 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.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) 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.
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."
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