Let's not make a deal

Before and during last week’s filibuster, it seems there was nearly a deal.

Last Friday, talks involving a federal mediator appear to have brought Canada Post and the union close to a settlement. The union wanted final offer selection replaced by mediation-arbitration which attempts to find middle ground in contract disputes.

Comartin and Godin met with Raitt. There was agreement that if the company and the union could agree on this, the back-to-work legislation would be withdrawn. By Friday evening, both Canada Post and the union had a tentative settlement that outlined agreement on some key issues such as wage rate, according to a source. Other outstanding issues would be sent to arbitration.

But after midnight came word that Raitt’s office had apparently turned down the deal, a source said. As the filibuster continued in the Commons, Harper crossed the aisle to speak with NDP Leader Jack Layton. During their conversation, Layton questioned whether there had been “political interference.” Harper denied it.

Postal workers are now preparing to challenge the back-to-work legislation in court.