Economy

Rotating postal strikes ended as Senate passes back-to-work bill

Rotating postal strikes ended as Senate passes back-to-work bill”

Postal workers across the country are officially back to work after the Liberal government pass legislation to stop the rotating job action, a move that was seconded by the Senate on Monday.

After hours of debate during a special Saturday session, the Senate voted to give its members a day to reflect on witness testimony about the bill, adjourning their discussions until Monday afternoon.

The vote passed by a margin of 53 to 25 after being rushed through the House of Commons last week as the Canada Post walkouts entered their sixth week.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers maintains the legislation is unconstitutional and has vowed to challenge it in court.

The union is demanding pay increases and also guaranteed hours for their rural carriers.

Canada Post and CUPW said they were negotiating Sunday, hoping to reach an agreement ahead of the bill's passage.

Postal Workers have been holding rotating strikes for more than six weeks while Canada Post and the postal union attempt to reach a deal.

The walkouts have led to backlogs of mail and parcel deliveries at the Crown corporation's main sorting plants in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

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

Canada Post confirmed last week that the backlog of packages created by the strike was already so large that mail delays would likely last through to January 2019.

The former Conservative government forced an end to a lockout of postal workers during a dispute in 2011 by enacting back-to-work legislation.

An amendment by independent Sen.

Canada Post worker Hakim Kaddouri told CBC News the back-to-work legislation is frustrating, since it's the second time since 2011 that the federal government has ended Canada Post strikes in such a fashion. "We're relieved to see Canada Post back to work and hope the corporation and the union can reach a long-lasting agreement to ensure Canada Post can become a low-priced and reliable option for small business". "All options remain on the table to achieve negotiated collective agreements that address 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 ... I am convinced that more time should be allowed for negotiations to come to a fruitful conclusion", he said.

"This government was so concerned with appearances, not wanting to look like previous governments, wanting instead "to wag their finger and lift their chin in righteous indignation, that they sat on their hands until it was nearly too late".



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