Postal workers to challenge back-to-work legislation

Union says legislation violated Charter rights


The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says it will launch a legal challenge to the federal government’s decision to use back-to-work legislation to end the recent labour dispute at Canada Post. According to CUPW, the legislation violated Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the right to belong to a union and to collective bargaining. The case will notably focus on the federal government’s imposition of a 1.57 per cent wage increase, which was lower than the corporation’s offer of 1.9 per cent.

Calgary Herald

Filed under:

Postal workers to challenge back-to-work legislation

  1. Well, maybe this explains the switch from back-to-work legislation, to finding some Board somewhere that can, somehow, prevent a union from striking at all.

    Because you wouldn’t think, in a democratic society that believes in the rule of law, that you could remove a union’s right to strike the night before a strike and without any legislation.

    • I’ve been to the CIRB’s website, and they do have the mandate to intervene in labour disputes within federally regulated industries (which includes interprovincial air travel).  Arcane though it may be, it is written into Canada’s Labour Code.  They also have the power to order cease-and-desist orders on striking federally-regulated workers.  I don’t remember the CIRB ever being used to delay or end a strike in the past…it generally is involved in the mundane task of certifying bargaining units after workers vote to organize.  But their mandate under the CLC allows for this sort of action.

      But ya, the knee-jerk reaction of any strike threat by the Harper Conservatives is to kneecap the organised workers.  The punative arbitration they applied to the striking postal workers (legislating a lower wage hike than even management was offering in negotiations) was pretty low, and hopefully will be found to contravene the Charter.

      • Calculated political tactics. One lesson Harper’s taken from the previous 4 years is that if you can get the opposition screaming mad, most Canadians write them off as being over-reactionary… because, hey, nobody could be as bad as the opposition keeps making out, right?

        So, given that the NDP is now their biggest threat, and knowing that they have limited voter growth in the unions anyway, use them like a hot poker under the NDP to get them screaming, while at the same time being red-meat for their base, as demonstrated by people like AVR.

        • Or, he just gets off on being a bully.

    • Many people would be shocked to know the rights a person gives up when they join a union.  In Alberta you cannot sue your employer if you are a unionized employee.  Rather, you have to count on your union to represent you.  If you feel your union has not adequately represented you, you can go before the labor relations board and they may grant you a hearing but they give the unions a lot of descretion of whether or not they choose to represent you in a conflict (grievance) with the employer.  People think it is only the government that plays big brother but when you get a job in a unionized business, you have no right to make choices not to belong to the union nor to opt out of the benefit or pension plans and you cannot hire your own lawyer in disputes.

  2. Wow, postal workers are lucky they still HAVE jobs. During the strike they were already reducing deliveries to a few days a week, and most people would be happy making the 2 day a week deliveries permanent.

    Their jobs are obsolete, 90% of the mail they bring me is junk.

    • Pick one or the other.  How can they be both essential service AND obsolete at the same time?
      I’m certainly not in the habit of defending CUPE, but it seems like we’ve gone a little overboard with the evil, useless rhetoric.

  3. Even worse, postal workers were locked out, then ordered back to work with less than the offer that was on the table. 

Sign in to comment.