Canada passes back-to-work legislation to end post workers’ strikes

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Senators voted Monday in favour of the Liberal government's legislation to force Canada Post employees back to work - a move that was quickly given royal assent.

The vote on Monday evening in the Senate passed by a margin of 53 to 25.

The bill was then fast-tracked through the House of Commons and could be enacted as early as today.

Workers are asking for better pay for rural and suburban carriers, as well as greater job security and minimum guaranteed hours.

At issue is a massive uptick in e-commerce that has been a boon to the economy but also led to a spike in workplace injuries at Canada Post due to higher parcel volumes.

Negotiations have been underway for almost a year, but the dispute escalated when union members launched rotating strikes on October 22 this year.

One Canada Post spokesperson told media that "The postal service remains operational, but the prolonged and ongoing strike activity has not only caused significant backlogs, it continues to greatly reduce our ability to process and deliver mail and parcels across the country".

Canada Post workers were ordered to return to work by 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

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"If that bill gets passed, the postal workers in London and all across Canada will be going back to work in the same working conditions, with the same collective agreement we have had and that we are trying to get fixed", she said.

It will ultimately be up to the courts to decide whether the legislation is constitutional, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu said on her way into a morning meeting with her cabinet colleagues, should it be legally challenged by CUPW.

Postal workers in London have on Monday taken over a distribution facility on Waterman Avenue, west of Wellington Road, to protest against proposed back-to-work legislation.

But another independent, Sen.

But the Liberal government argues Bill C-89 is different, in that it does not impose immediate outcomes affecting postal contracts.

A government-appointed mediator now has 90 days to reach a deal with Canada Post and the union. "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". "This law violates our right to free collective bargaining under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms".

"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.

Fellow Conservative Sen. Don Plett said "the government sat on its hands until the 11th hour and then in a panicked rush suddenly decided something needed to be done".

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