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Canada Post Legislation Debate Drags On

Canada Post Legislation Debate Drags On

Earlier this week, the Harper government introduced legislation to put an end to Canada Post’s lock out of postal workers. The opposition parties vowed to stall the vote that will force both Canada Post and members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) into binding arbitration. The government’s position is that the mail must flow. The Canadian economy is at stake. But the NDP opposition, working with the few remaining Liberals, believe that the government should take no role and allow Canada Post and the CUPW to continue contract negotiations. They believe, and the CUPW concurs, that Canada Post is using the government to force union members back to work under a contract that is unfavorable to them and doesn’t address their concerns about wages and a short-fall in the pension plan.

Debate Drags On

Despite the fact that Parliament was to go on summer recess yesterday, MPs worked through the night. Even Prime Minister Stephen Harper pulled debate duty earlier this morning, having pulled an all nighter too.

Conservatives hold the majority of seats and the legislation is expected to pass, but the opposition are determined to hold off the vote as long as possible. As it stands, the debate could easily last until Monday morning.

What’s Going On?

After two weeks of rolling strikes by the CUPW, which says major hubs in different provinces were targeted for single day shutdowns, Canada Post locked workers out last week. Aside from government checks delivered earlier this week, Canadians have not been receiving mail.

The CUPW contends that as long as this legislation is pending, Canada Post has no incentive to come back to the table and work out their differences in the contract talks. The NDP and Liberals feel this legislation is government over-reach.

What Do You Think?

The Conservatives call the current mail stoppage a “strike,” but the reality is that Canada Post locked its workers out and walked away from negotiations in hopes of government intervention, but the CUPW has mixed public support. 70% of Canadians want the government to intervene at this point and the perception that this is a strike and not a lock-out is dominating the media. Small businesses and Canadians who live in the more isolated regions of Northern Canada are being greatly effected by the mail stoppage.

Canadian workers possess a Charter right to strike. Interference by the government has the appearance of being anti-worker, but Canada’s people and its economy are being adversely effected by the mail stoppage. Who is in the right here? Or is it that simple? Let’s hear from you.

*Listen to the live debate here.

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Photo Credit: Canada Post 1 by Smith

 

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16 comments

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6:20AM PDT on Jul 25, 2012

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9:45PM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

This strike was a gambit by CUPW's brass with scant support from its rank and file carriers. The result is a diminution of Canada Post's stature, as more of its erstwhile clients resort to other transfer options. The union has punished the employer to no good result: it's not only not getting its way, it's pushed itself closer to extinction as the need for its services falls.

Thankfully Harper's got the majority he needed, so he no longer needs to placate his leftist opponents. Ongoing filibusters will just accelerate public weariness with the antics of the NDP, and the next election could well see the New Dems drop in number, entrenching Harper's Conservatives as the natural governing party for the 21st Century. One can hope!

10:17PM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

I agree with Past Member: post services are becoming obsolete and if those employees want to keep their jobs in one way or another, they better face the music before it all gets privatize.

8:17PM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

There should never be a need for a lockout. As long as people are talking solutions can be found.

12:56PM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

I don't like it. If the Charter of Rights and Freedom says a Canadian can strike and it is not essential, maybe a pain not to receive your mail however there are alternatives (for most). Essential services are nurses, doctors and people who care for people who would fall into harm without the essential care. I don't see the post as one of those.
It will likely go through because too many of my country wo(man) voted for the Conservatives and they hold the majority, sadly for many of us.
Send them back to the table with an arbitrator and make them work out a fair deal for all.

11:47AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

Doesn't Canada have any arbitrators. You usually don't get much done when people at opposite ends of the table are sniping at each other.
Maybe it's time to send someone with negotiating skills in to help here.

10:40AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

Vance D. is pretty close to the truth. Ronny Raygun=Little Stevie Harpoon. Break the unions. Canada Post does have decent benefits so start with a union that may not be as popular to the public and one whose rotating slow downs are inconvenient. This will open the door to breaking other unions once a precedent is set.
Why can't the Jehovah Witnesses deliver the mail anyway? It would save money and give them something productive to do on their rounds.

10:16AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

Received mail during the rotating strike phase, but none since the lockout. Should Canada Post have locked out postal workers ? Was it ordered to by the government? This gave the government the opportunity to claim the economy is hurting, so we'll introduce back-to-work legislation. In this legislation, there is a wage cut. Canada Post seems to be on the sidelines.

9:30AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

I know several postal workers in our area, and they have told me the union is not asking for anything new but desperately trying to hold on to what they already have. When stupid Canadians voted Harper back in and it was better to stay with the crook we know; now privatization is going to happen in maybe every sector. This is like America a give away to Corporations and supporting the rich while the poor like me slip over the edge.

8:58AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

This neoCon government constantly practices divide-and-rule. In fact, had the Liberals and the NDP not been divided, the neoCons would not have been elected on only 40% of the vote.

Now they attack the postal-workers, next other public sector workers while encouraging the private sector to crush its unions. It's not so much about money - the neoCons throw it away by the billions to suit themselves and bomb Libya - it's about CONtrol by conTROLLS.

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