Bill to end Canada Post rolling strikes passes Commons; Senate will take it up Monday

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

With Canada's House of Commons having voted Saturday in favor of legislation that would end the rolling walkouts at Canadian postal service Canada Post that have hit various parts of the country, the Canadian Senate will take up the bill Monday.

The vote in the Commons was not close: 166-43

Sen. Peter Harder, who is the Liberals' government representative in the Senate, said several senators had indicated they needed more time to study the legislation, according to Canadian press reports.

The bill would end the rolling strikes and appoint a mediator-arbitrator to help Canada Post--a government-owned but independently-run Crown Corporation--and the union representing its workers come to an agreement. If mediation fails, the two sides would enter binding arbitration.

That union, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers continued to object to the action in Parliament. "We condemn the legislation as a hypocritical act by a government that promised to defend workers’ rights, claimed to stand for equality for women, and claimed to stand for expanding and defending the middle class," it said in a statement released Saturday. "It’s unacceptable for any government to violate workers’ Charter rights, especially one that said it would work to improve labour relations at Canada Post."

If the Senate passes the bill, it will go into effect the day after it is signed by the Governor General, which is a mostly ceremonial position inside the Canadian government.

The government several days ago reappointed Morton Mitchnick as a special mediator in the standoff between Canada Post and the CUPW. Earlier mediation efforts in the more than one year of discussions have failed.

Canada Post earlier last week offered the union a cooling-off period through January and a new offer. But the union rejected it, demanding that Canada Post return to the bargaining table.

The contract between the CUPS and Canada Post expired November 17.