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Union claims Canada Post exaggerated backlog to force federal intervention

Shipping companies benefit from Canada Post workers strike
WATCH ABOVE: As the federal government contemplates back-to-work legislation, many Canadian businesses are mulling over how to make it through the busy holiday season. Some are on the prowl for alternative shipping options. Shallima Maharaj reports.

The Canadian Union of Postal workers is accusing Canada Post of putting out propaganda to end the weeks-old labour dispute.

Last week, the postal service sent media outlets drone footage showing dozens of trailers, purportedly full of mail, sitting outside Canada Post’s largest processing plant in Mississauga.

The union isn’t buying it.

“We question those images — if you look closely, you’ll see the door is open and some of those trailers are empty,” said Mike Palecek, CUPW national president.

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Palecek says his members have done their own checks.

“We’re getting reports back of the actual numbers of trailers sitting in places and it’s a fraction of what they’re saying,” Palecek told Global News.

CUPW, which represents 50,000 postal employees, believes management inflated the numbers in an effort to make the problem seem worse and force the government to act.

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WATCH: NDP criticize Liberals over potential back-to-work legislation in Canada Post strike

NDP criticize Liberals over potential back-to-work legislation in Canada Post strike
NDP criticize Liberals over potential back-to-work legislation in Canada Post strike

“It appears they did a cursory walk of the yards,” said Canada Post spokesperson Jon Hamilton.

Hamilton points out the rotating strikes have hit the country’s three largest processing facilities in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

“With the backlogs filling our property, we have had to rent secure space offsite to store the trailers, which they [the union] may not be aware of,” said Hamilton in an email to Global News.

Time is of the essence with the busiest shopping days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, just around the corner.

READ MORE: The Canada Post strike and your holiday deliveries: here’s what you need to know

It’s likely why Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour of Canada Patty Hadju decided to act, announcing that the federal government could bring in back-to-work legislation as soon as Thursday evening.

The move would force an end to the rotating strikes which workers have been conducting since Oct. 22.

More importantly, it would provide stability to the Canadian economy.

WATCH: Feds could implement back-to-work legislation Thursday to end Canada Post strike

Feds could implement back-to-work legislation Thursday to end Canada Post strike
Feds could implement back-to-work legislation Thursday to end Canada Post strike

“People are relying on Canada Post to deliver packages. Small and medium-sized businesses are relying on Canada Post to have a profitable season and our economy needs Canada Post in order to function in a smooth way,” Hajdu told reporters on Parliament Hill.

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Hajdu said she prefers that the dispute ends with a new negotiated collective agreement rather than force CUPW members back to work.

READ MORE: Feds take 1st step in forcing end to Canada Post strike