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Feds confident in back-to-work legislation, as postal union threatens legal action

Striking Canada Post workers walk the picket line in front of the Saint-Laurent sorting facility in Montreal on Thursday November 15, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Summary

CUPW argues back-to-work legislation is unconstitutional because it violates members' right to strike


OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Less than a month to go before Christmas, there remains a backlog of packages and regular mail as postal workers are told to get back to work.

Despite threats by the union to challenge the back-to-work legislation, the federal government is convinced it will hold up in court.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is outraged its workers are being forced back on the job, saying it is looking at all options — including legal ones — to fight this bill.

RELATED: Postal workers return to picket lines as Senate set to debate back-to-work bill

The union argues the legislation is unconstitutional because it violates their members’ right to strike, an argument that held up in court when the previous Harper government took similar actions.

But Employment Minister Patty Hajdu says she is confident this bill will stand the test. “We put forward legislation that had a Charter statement. We did so in a way that drafted the legislation completely differently than the previous Harper government’s legislation.”

But she says ultimately, it could be the courts’ call.

The minister claims the move was a last resort, but a necessary one.

“There was a significant, growing economic harm to the country. Small businesses were struggling. Rural and remote communities were struggling. There really wasn’t a way forward for the two parties. They were at a complete impasse.”