“We are calling on the federal government to allow for a fair process by encouraging workers and the employer to come to an agreement that works for everyone. This back-to-work legislation is a clear violation of workers’ Charter rights. CUPW successfully fought to have this right explicitly upheld by the Supreme Court.” — Hassan Yussuff, CLC President
Ottawa (22 Nov 2018) — The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) joins the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) in calling on Canada Post to negotiate fair contracts for postal workers. The CLC also joins CUPW in condemning the federal government’s back-to-work legislation. The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is an affiliate of the CLC.
Back-to-work legislation has long-term implications
“The right to strike is an integral part of collective bargaining. Without it, an employer has no incentive to bargain in good faith, and workers have no recourse to demand a fair process,” said Hassan Yussuff, CLC President.
“This federal government was supposed to be different from the last, and yet here we are again,” said Mike Palecek, CUPW President. “Trudeau is showing his true colours and the anti-worker agenda shares with former prime minister Harper. He knows we have always been prepared to bargain in good faith and to negotiate — quickly — fair collective agreements for our members. He could have directed Canada Post to do the same.”
Palecek added, “Back-to-work legislation has serious long-term impacts on the work environment and on labour relations. Once contracts are imposed that don’t address our core concerns around unsafe working conditions, equality for rural carriers, and access to secure full-time middle-class jobs, that’s just more ground we’ll continue to struggle to regain.”
Right to strike is protected under the Constitution
The Harper Conservative government’s back-to-work legislation in 2011 drove postal workers to accept regressive contracts. It was later ruled unconstitutional. After a federal review of the postal service, the Liberal government made it a priority to improve labour relations at Canada Post. Back-to-work legislation will seriously damage that effort.
“We are calling on the federal government to allow for a fair process by encouraging workers and the employer to come to an agreement that works for everyone,” said Yussuff. “This back-to-work legislation is a clear violation of workers’ Charter rights. CUPW successfully fought to have this right explicitly upheld by the Supreme Court.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE