Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff looks on as Canadian Union of Postal Workers President Mike Palecek speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill Friday November 23, 2018 in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

VIDEO: Canada Post back-to-work bill passed in late-night Commons sitting

Next step is the Senate, set to sit Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday, dealing with the bill

Legislation ordering postal workers back to work was passed in the House of Commons during a special session that dragged on into the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Bill C-89 passed third reading by a vote of 166 to 43.

The Senate is now set to sit Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday, to deal with the bill, which would go into effect at noon eastern time on the day following royal assent.

The legislative push came as Ottawa, as well as smaller towns in Ontario and British Columbia, and Sherbrooke, Que., became the latest targets of rotating strikes by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Despite the rush to pass the legislation, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu encouraged Canada Post and CUPW to remain at the bargaining table.

“They can still pull a deal off,” she said.

READ MORE: Canada Post responds to B.C. mail carrier’s claims of questionable tactics

That said, Hajdu added: “Obviously, we would prefer that the parties are able to negotiate an agreement together, but the time has come that we need to be prepared to take action if they cannot.”

Hajdu referred to mail delivery as an “essential service” and said small businesses that rely on the postal service to deliver their goods over the busy Christmas season could go bankrupt if the situation isn’t remedied quickly.

“And when I say small, I mean really small. I mean people that, you know, sell marmalade or handmade goods, that this is the most profitable time of their year and if they are unable to make their earnings this time of year, they very well might be facing the end of their business.”

Labour leaders and New Democrat MPs slammed the government for undermining the collective-bargaining process. The government has removed all incentive for Canada Post to reach a negotiated settlement now that the agency knows workers will be ordered back to work by early next week, they charged.

“The right to strike is an integral part of the collective bargaining process,” said Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff. “Without it, an employer has no incentive to bargain in good faith, and workers have no recourse to demand a fair process.”

Canada Post seems to have convinced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Christmas wouldn’t come without a back-to-work bill, added CUPW president Mike Palecek.

“The mail was moving, and people know it,” he said. “People have been getting their mail and online orders delivered. That was the point of our rotating-strike tactics, not to pick a fight with the public.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh accused the Liberals of hypocrisy, professing to believe in the right to collective bargaining while bringing in what he called the “worst, most draconian” back-to-work legislation.

“They’ve shown their true face … that this government is not a friend of working people,” Singh said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Mosaic Forest Management announces forestry shutdown

Thousands of forestry workers in Coastal B.C. will be affected by ‘curtailment’

Sooke mom launches GoFundMe campaign to get medical treatment for son

Single mother has two children facing medical challenges

UVic threatens any athletes who speak about rowing coach investigation

Barney Williams has been accused of harassment and abuse

Oak Bay ranked second-least dangerous community in Canada

Alberni the most dangerous, Parksville shows biggest increase in the Crime Severity Index

Harbour authority names dock for Victoria’s record-breaking sailor

Jeanne Socrates is the oldest person to sail around the world unaccompanied

Appeal dismissed for B.C. man who assaulted woman in ‘thoroughly modern’ fight over phone

‘Both were seeking evidence of cheating by the other,’ says B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

Port Alberni gets green light to fire up ice plant in Multiplex

Rink staff expect to have ice in main arena by Nov. 29

A look back at abandoned ski areas in Colorado

By Seth Boster The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) While efforts are afoot… Continue reading

Spill the wine: It’s not a party without bubbles

Plenty of sparkling wines to enjoy in B.C.

Christmas events set to begin across Greater Victoria

Lights, parades, gingerbread and more are coming to town until the new year

Sidney’s queen’s portrait news expected before Christmas

Return awaits completion of town crest, First Nations artwork

B.C.’s largest catholic archdiocese names 9 clergymen in sex abuse report; probes ongoing

Vancouver Archdioces presides over 443,000 parishoners in B.C.

Most Read