Delivery backlogs to continue as Canada Post union calls for ‘civil disobedience’

The Canada Post logo is seen on the outside the company's Pacific Processing Centre in Richmond B.C

Since October, CUPW members had been holding rotating walkouts in an effort to force Canada Post to agree to their contract demands, causing massive backlogs at postal depots across the county.

Mail service was scheduled to resume today at noon Eastern after the Senate passed legislation ordering an end to five weeks of rotating strikes by postal workers. Yuen Pau Woo, leader of the independent senators' group.

"Our collective rights, our charter rights have been under attack", said Canada Post worker Megan Whitfield.

"This has never been about the public, and that's why we've gone this route - because we don't want to make it a huge impact on the public", Johnson said. He says postal workers want to deliver an outstanding service to Canadians, but he believes the situation is making it very hard for employees.

Picket lines were up Sunday at Canada Post facilities in northern Ontario, as well as in parts of British Columbia.

Union representative Annie Lesage said she expects CUPW will fight the legislation.

Liberal and Conservative MPs overrode NDP objections that the bill would violate constitutional protection for the right to strike, while a combined majority of Conservative and Independent senators pushed the bill through the upper chamber.

That's hard for local companies, like the ones Andrea Vance says advertise in her magazine West Coast Families.

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"They only care about Christmas and people getting their precious parcels, they don;t care about us people sitting here with injuries that aren't getting any better, or keep getting injured, or the ones that were on short-term disability until the rotating strikes started and got cut off", Gilder says, adding she nearly at the point of quitting her job.

Even though Canada Post workers have been legislated back to work, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers has told its members that it will soon begin a campaign of "mobilizations, demonstrations and non-violent civil disobedience".

Negotiations have been underway for almost a year, but the dispute escalated more recently when CUPW members launched rotating strikes October 22.

Last Wednesday, the union representing Canadian postal workers said, "Canada Post has not moved on any of our key issues", and that it's "ready to negotiate".

The backlog of letter mail delivery should be cleared before December 25, however global parcels will likely see delays into March 2019.

But the Liberal government's bill is "different", Labour Minister Patty Hajdu said shortly after the legislation was tabled in the Commons, in that it does not impose immediate outcomes affecting postal contracts. Failing that, a settlement could be imposed either through a decision from the arbitrator or by choosing from one of the final proposals put forward by Canada Post and CUPW.

"Because the right to strike is a fundamental right ... And we still won't have full-time jobs for all who are looking for them".

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