November 26, 2018 – Conservative senators say they wanted to push Canada Post back-to-work legislation through on Sunday but are pointing the finger at independent senators for delaying the third and final reading until Monday. After nearly eight hours of proceedings in a rare weekend sitting on Saturday, the Senate agreed to hold the third and final reading of the bill on Monday afternoon.
Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) have held rotating walkouts for more than a month, causing backlogs of unsorted mail and packages at postal depots. The controversial back-to-work bill, if passed, would go into effect at noon ET on the day following royal assent.
In 2011 the then-Conservative government passed back-to-work legislation demanding an end to a Canada Post lockout and rotating strikes by postal workers.
But that legislation was overturned by the courts in 2015, after a ruling that by removing workers’ right to strike, the bill violated their right to freedom of association and expression.
The current Liberal government on the other hand believes they have crafted the bill in a way that does not violate charter rights, because it does not impose immediate outcomes affecting postal contracts.
Housakos said the current legislation could possibly be overturned but he reiterated that his primary concern is ensuring mail is being delivered.
"More important than that is making sure that the trucks are rolling, the mail is being delivered and the Canadian economy and Canadian public is being served."
CUPW has already vowed to fight the legislation in court, which Housakos said they have a right to do.
Meanwhile negotiators from both sides remained at the bargaining table Sunday in a last-ditch effort to bring an unforced end to rotating walkouts, but with little sign that a deal would be reached before the Senate returns for the final reading. Source: CBC News