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Back to work! Raitt tables notice to legislate Canada Post workers back

By Daniel Kosir |

After 12 days of rotating strikes and the current nation-wide lock-out, Canada Post employees could be faced with back-to-work legisation.

Noting the impact on the economy and the lack of progress made through negotiations, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt gave notice of legislation to restore mail delivery service to Canadians.

The 48 hours notice required by the House for new legislation was tabled by Raitt last night, and is expected to take until next week to be passed into law.
The legislation would effectively end the current lock-out of unionized workers and mandate an arbitration process to reach a settlement to the dispute.

Though prepared to instate the bill if necessary, the government is hopeful that the two sides will reach an agreement before it is passed in the next few days. But with the way negotiations have been going so far, reaching a solution outside of arbitration seems unlikely.

The issues that the union and the Corporation are battling over include:

  •  Effects of modernization and new mail-processing technology
  •  Wage cuts to new hires from around $23 to $18 per hour
  •  Reformation of sick leave, vacation and pension arrangements

The same avenue was taken last time Canada Post and the union butted heads in 1997, with the federal government legislating the striking workers back after two weeks off the job.

It seems history is slated to repeat itself. Whether through back-to-work legislation or negotiations outside of arbitration, Canadians can count on their mail delivery services returning within the next couple of weeks.

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