Union members, activists protest outside Canada Post facility in Mississauga
Some union members and activists set up pickets outside of a Canada Post facility in Mississauga on Saturday in solidarity with postal workers who were forced back to work earlier this week.
Canada Post workers, who are members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, were working inside of the facility as members of other unions and activists blocked the entrances outside.
“We are here to do a peaceful protest to say it’s not going to be business as usual for Canada Post,” said Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario.
“That’s what we’re here today to do: to show solidarity to postal workers and to say to Canada Post, it’s time you sat down at a bargaining table and bargained a fair collective agreement.”
Some OPSEU members were also protesting, along with the Socialist Action group.
Canada Post workers were forced to end roughly five weeks of rotating strikes on Tuesday after the federal government passed back-to-work legislation.
Labour Minister Patty Hajdu said the legislation was passed as a “last resort” after “over a year” of negotiations between Canada Post and workers.
The postal workers’ union said the back-to-work order was unconstitutional.
WATCH: Canada Post back-to-work legislation passed, comes into effect on Tuesday. Mike Le Couteur reports.
CUPW was fighting for adjustments to the pay scale for rural workers, the number of hours employees can work and the way Canada Post responds to workplace injuries, among other things.
In response to the picket, Canada Post tweeted: “We can confirm individuals are illegally delaying the movement of mail and parcels at our Gateway mail processing plant in Mississauga. We’ll continue to take appropriate actions to address illegal activity impacting the collection and delivery of mail and parcels.”
After a few hours of blocking entrances to the Canada Post facility, protesters were served an injunction from an enforcement officer that declared the protesters were illegally blocking entrances to the facility.
“If we’re going to talk about legality, what we should be really worried about is that the Constitution of Canada guarantees the right to strike,” Hahn said.
Protesters continued to block entrances even after the injunction was read by an officer.
“I don’t think people are in a position right now to be leaving so I think we are going to be waiting to hear what our legal counsel advises us, what the next appropriate step should be,” Candace Rennick, CUPE’s treasurer, said at the time.
Peel police were on site and asked the protesters to leave a few hours after the injunction was served.
Around 4:30 p.m., protesters were told they would receive jaywalking or trespassing tickets if they did not leave.
The protesters then removed the pickets and trucks began to move in and out of the facility again. No one was arrested.
There have been numerous protests throughout the country by unions aiming to show solidarity with postal workers.
On Friday, protests were held at Canada Post facilities in Stoney Creek, Ont., as well as Windsor, Halifax and Edmonton, according to Canada Post.
—With files from Jamie Mauracher
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