Canada Post employees are occupying the offices of a number of politicians in Ottawa and Toronto on Friday, including Finance Minister Bill Morneau, to protest the Liberal government’s threatened back-to-work legislation.
Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) occupied the offices of Morneau, MP Julie Dzerowicz, Minister of Innovation Navdeep Bain and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. They are calling on the federal government to respect workers’ rights to free and fair collective bargaining.
Don Foreman with CUPW’s Ottawa local chapter said he is occupying McKenna’s office with the hope of persuading her vote on the back-to-work legislation.
“The main reason I am here, is I am a constituent here and as a postal worker, I want to know how she will vote for the proposed legislation,”
“We are patiently waiting for her, to see if she will at least call and speak with us,” he said. “I am hoping she will vote no on the legislation. We want a negotiated settlement and not a government interfered one.”
Global News reached out to Minister McKenna’s office, but has not heard back.
The protest comes a day after the feds signalled its intent to quickly pass back-to-work legislation that would force Canada Post employees to end their rotating strikes that have been going on for more than a month.
CUPW and Canada Post remain at a crossroads, with employees demanding improvements to job security, an end to forced overtime and better health and safety measures. But Canada Post has said it has made a number of offers that include increased wages and better job security.
Labour Minister Patty Hajdu said the Liberal government brought forward the legislation after exhausting every option, adding it has a responsibility to all Canadians and businesses that drive the economy.
The strike has caused massive backlogs of unsorted mail and packages at postal depots.
The rotating strikes have shut down the mail in Ottawa on Friday, as well as smaller towns in Ontario and British Columbia, and Sherbrooke, Que.
— With files from the Canadian Press