November 26, 2018 4:39 pm

Mail carriers protest back-to-work legislation outside Canada Post distribution centre in London

Mail carriers in London are spending the day marching up and down Waterman Ave, off Wellington Road, where Postal Depot 5 is located.

Liny Lamberink/980 CFPL

Mail carriers in London are protesting outside one of Canada Post’s distribution centres in the south end, as the Senate prepares to debate a bill that would force an end to rotating strikes across the country.

“I’m going to remain hopeful,” said CUPW Local 566 grievance officer Julien Gignac. “We’re hoping Senators vote against this, and see that it is unconstitutional. Because if we get legislated back to work, you’re putting London postal workers and the rest of the country back to an old contract which injured 7,000 workers since we started negotiations.”

WATCH: Senators question constitutionality of Liberals’ Canada Post back-to-work legislation

Workers’ safety, equal pay for women, and more full-time jobs are the sticking points of the job dispute, now entering its sixth week. The rotating strikes hit London for two days earlier this month.

Julien Gignac is a grievance officer with CUPW Local 566.

Liny Lamberink/980 CFPL

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READ MORE: Canada Post strike continues in London and surrounding area Tuesday

Motivated by the threat of back-to-work legislation, Gignac and around a dozen others braved the cool temperatures and rain to march up and down Waterman Avenue between Postal Depot 5 and the intersection off Wellington Road.

“Honk if you want your weed,” read one sign they carried. “Workers rights are human rights,” read another.

Bill C-36, which would force an end to the crippling job action at Canada Post, was debated in the upper chamber on Saturday after the Liberal government fast-tracked it through the House of Commons.

READ MORE: Canada Post union threatening members if they accept overtime during strikes

A Senate official says the final debate on the bill is expected to begin Monday afternoon, and an early evening vote is likely. It’s possible Canada Post workers could be back at work by noon Tuesday.

Mail carriers are calling on Senators to respect workers’ rights to free and collective bargaining.

“Going door-to-door is a great service we provide for all customers,” said Gignac. “People love it. They’ve said so.”

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