Canada Post strike

Federal government might order end to Canada Post strike

There may be hope yet for the dream of buying all your gifts online this holiday season (and having them arrive before January, that is).

Federal Labour Minister Patty Hajdu said on Tuesday evening that if Canada Post employees can't reach a new collective agreement "soon," the government is willing to order an end to the rotating strikes gumming up the country's postal system.

This, just one day after Canada Post itself issued released a a statement warning customers that it would "not able to honour delivery standards due to massive backlog" caused by the now five-week-long employee strike.

"With all efforts exhausted to restore operations while the labour dispute continues, Canada Post is advising commercial customers and Canadians that mail and parcels in or entering its network will have long and unpredictable delays before being delivered," reads the postal service's Dec. 19 statement.

"This is likely to be the situation for the foreseeable future, meaning the next several weeks, including the peak holiday season and through January 2019."

Enter Ottawa, which might very well save (Amazon's version of) Christmas with a back-to-work mandate.

"We strongly encourage both sides to reach a deal and are prepared to table legislation if we do not see a resolution over the next few days, a step we do not take lightly," said Hajdu on Tuesday.

She said that the Liberal government has been supporting and encouraging both parties to reach a deal at the bargaining table through conciliation officers, mediators and voluntary arbitration.

"Despite all of this," she said, "limited progress was made and we have exhausted our options."

The idea of introducing back-to-work legislation for Canada Post employees is not without its fair share of criticism.

"Free collective bargaining is a charter right in this country, and we have a government that claims to believe in free collective bargaining, but apparently that means only when it’s convenient," said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, to the Canadian Press.

"Canada Post only has one game, and it's to refuse to negotiate and sit back and wait for legislation," he continued. "They've done this again and again, and it looks like the government is helping them out."

Lead photo by

Canada Post


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