Labour Minister Patty Hajdu says the federal Liberals have given the House of Commons notice that they’re prepared to legislate Canada Post employees back to work.
Hajdu says 48 hours notice is required before introducing back-to-work legislation but insisted that just because notice has been given doesn’t mean they will make the move to end rotating strikes by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
She says the Liberal government has complete flexibility around when they might introduce legislation. The government has also reappointed Morton Mitchnick as special mediator and Hajdu said they are going to let him take the time he needs and he will be providing updates on the situation.
Hajdu says she doesn’t want to use back-to-work legislation but people are relying on Canada Post to deliver Christmas packages and businesses also rely on the service.
Canada Post is dealing with a fifth week of rotating strikes by thousands of unionized workers as both sides remain apart in contract negotiations.
Hajdu says the two parties have had a “very long” time to work out a deal and the governing Liberals will take action if they can’t get one, quickly adding that she expects both sides to work hard over the next couple of days to reach an agreement.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers on Monday turned down an offer for a holiday cooling-off period and a possible $1,000 bonus for its 50,000 members, saying it would only mean postal employees continuing to work under the same conditions the union is trying to have changed.