Ontario Superior Court Justice Firestone ruled on April 28 that the former Conservative government violated postal workers’ freedom of association by legislating them back to work on June 26, 2011.
The ruling declared that the legislation – which also imposed an offer on the postal workers – violated the workers’ rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“This is a win for workers everywhere,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).
“In 2011, Canada Post and the Conservative government gamed the system by first locking postal workers out and then forcing us back to work. This interference was completely unfair and meant we could not freely bargain.”
The ruling is especially significant, the union said, as CUPW is currently in negotiations with Canada Post. CUPW is calling for improvements to services and an end to concessions.
Canada Post has applied for conciliation in the negotiations. The parties have been meeting since late 2015 but no progress has been made on key issues, Canada Post said in a press release.
“We hope that a neutral party can stimulate constructive discussion and accelerate the negotiations process.”
The collective agreement between Canada Post and CUPW-RSMC expired on Dec. 31, 2015, while the agreement between Canada Post and CUPW-Urban expired on Jan. 31, 2016. Currently, the terms and conditions of both contracts continue to apply.
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