“Working on your rotation day (RDO) is a violation of the National Overtime Ban. This is a legal strike action. All CUPW members must follow this direction. You will be subjected to Articles 8 charges under the National Constitution.”
Article 8 of the CUPW National Constitution refers to discipline that could be imposed on members who violate national orders such as a national strike, as laid out in section 8.02(e), “if he/she impeded or acted in opposition to a strike or any other collective action of the Union”.
CUPW spokesperson Emilie Tobin wouldn’t comment on the memo, but did say those penalties apply to every member even in times where there is not a labour disruption.
A spokesperson for Canada Post told Global News that the corporation often asks workers to come in at this time of the year on rotation days, in order to clear the backlog of holiday parcels.
The Government Is Voting To End The Canada Post Strike Today, Heres When Theyll Be Back To Work
“On weekends during the holidays last year we delivered 3.6 million parcels,” said Jon Hamilton, Canada Post spokesperson.
Hamilton notes that Canada Post had planned to deliver 500,000 parcels across the country this weekend to keep pace. With the labour disruption, however, their projections have them delivering around 30,000 parcels this weekend.
Postal workers occupy London facility
Saturday, in a rare weekend sitting, the Senate was told there are are 1,000,000 pieces of mail waiting to be delivered.
Canada Post’s interim president and CEO Jessica McDonald told senators that the backlog could take weeks to clear, pushing them well past January. However, CUPW National President Mike Palecek told the upper chamber it would only take his members one day to get back on track.
Senators spent much of the day grilling witnesses about the rotating strikes and the apparent urgency to pass back-to-work legislation. Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patty Hajdu and Public Works and Government Services minister Carla Qualtrough were questioned for more than 90 minutes, while McDonald and the CUPW’s national president were both grilled for more than an hour.
Bill C-89, the Canada Post back-to-work legislation, could have gone to a vote on Saturday, but several members of the Independent Senators Group (ISG) worry it might be unconstitutional because it violates the workers rights to free bargaining.
Canada Post said it expected to make about 30,000 deliveries of parcels to Canadians over the past two days — a far cry from the 500,000 deliveries that a company spokesman said was normal for a late-November weekend.
“If senators are being asked to pass legislation that breaches the Charter, we should know that there’s a breach of the Charter and now we’re left to contend with that issue on our own, and it’s unfair,” said ISG member and senator Murray Sinclair.
Unionized Canada Post workers are on strike there — and the union has also shut down operations at the York Distribution Centre in Scarborough. It’s the second time this month job action has affected operations in London.
In 2011, the Conservative government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper passed back-to-work legislation to end the last Canada Post strike, but it was later struck down in the Supreme Court of Canada after being deemed unconstitutional.
Postal workers on the picket line as Senate could pass back-to-work bill
The final vote on C-89 could come Monday afternoon, meaning Canada Post workers could be forced back on the job as early as Tuesday at noon.
Ground rules laid out for striking Canada Post workers | Watch News Videos Online
Members of Canada Post pose with NDP leader Jagmeet Singh for a group photo following news conference Friday November 23, 2018 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld ORG XMIT: ajw109
Bargaining between CUPW and Canada Post continues as the two sides attempt to reach a negotiated settlement.
Postal negotiators still talking as Senate vote on back-to-work bill approaches
Canada Post employees in London have taken over a postal facility to protest the federal government’s decision to table back-to-work legislation that would end nationwide rotating mail strikes.
More than a dozen striking workers could be seen outside the facility on Waterman Avenue, just west of Wellington Road, holding signs and blocking the entrances to the distribution centre amid rainy and chilly weather.
“Today postal workers have occupied this facility to show the senators their disgruntlement at the current bill senators will be reviewing this afternoon and voting on,” said Karen Finlay-Russell, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers in London, who called the government’s back-to-work bill “unfair.”
Vote today by lawmakers could have Canada Post workers back on the job by noon tomorrow
Finlay-Russell said the main reason for Monday’s demonstration, as well as the ongoing rotating strike, was to improve the working conditions of postal workers.
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“If that bill gets passed, the postal workers in London and all across Canada will be going back to work in the same working conditions, with the same collective agreement we have had and that we are trying to get fixed,” she said. “It will force people to work extra hours, beyond what they want to, they won’t have family life, and it’s very unsafe.”
The back-to-work legislation, Bill C-89, was debated in the upper chamber on Saturday after the Liberal government fast-tracked the legislation through the House of Commons.
Postal workers in London have on Monday taken over a distribution facility on Waterman Avenue, west of Wellington Road, to protest against proposed back-to-work legislation. (JONATHAN JUHA, The London Free Press)
A Senate official says final debate on the legislation is expected to begin by mid-afternoon, likely followed by an early evening vote.
The bill could receive royal assent and become law a short time later, which would force striking postal workers back to work by noon on Tuesday.
Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers said their negotiators remained at the bargaining table Sunday, hoping to reach contract agreements in advance of the bill’s passage. Negotiations have been underway for nearly a year, but the dispute escalated more recently when mail carriers and other postal workers launched rotating strikes Oct. 22.
Those walkouts have led to backlogs of mail and parcel deliveries at the Crown corporation’s sorting plants, with Southwestern Ontario being one of the hardest-hit areas in the country because of a backlog of hundreds of transport trailers sitting idle at Canada Post’s main Toronto sorting facility.
The issue has quickly become tense for many Canadians because Canada Post is crucial to delivering gifts, cards and other mail during the Christmas season.