Government Vs Unions: Tory Appointed Arbitrator Removed
When Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) couldn’t come to a labor agreement by themselves last summer, the Harper Government imposed arbitration and back to work legislation.
The opposition filibustered and it took three days for the legislation to get through, but eventually the union, representing 48,000 postal workers, were pushed into binding arbitration. The Harper Government named an arbitrator and moved on to other issues (including shutting down three more strikes, those by different Air Canada unions).
On August 8, the negotiations between Canada Post and CUPW was back in the news because the union had fought successfully in Federal Court to have the arbitrator removed. Why did they want Guy Dufort removed? Because he had been a candidate for the Conservative Party in 2008. He also represented Canada Post during a battle with the union on pay equity.
CUPW approached the court after Dufort refused to remove himself in April 2012, stating that there was no conflict.
The first government appointed arbitrator was removed from the case because he wasn’t bilingual. The union has now requested a mediator rather than a third arbitrator.
How long will Canada’s postal workers be left working without a contract?
Photo Credit: Michael Gill