December 17, 2018 7:13 pm
Updated: December 17, 2018 7:56 pm

Winnipeg protesters call for right to strike, support for Canada Post workers

Concerned Manitobans gathered outside the Canada Post depot on McDermot Avenue Monday afternoon in support of unionized workers' right to strike when collective bargaining fails.

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Concerned Manitobans held a protest Monday at the Canada Post depot in downtown Winnipeg, calling for a fair deal for postal workers.

Dozens of members of the provincial labour movement gathered at a rally outside Canada Post on McDermot Avenue. At issue is what they call the Trudeau government’s decision to deny from postal workers their right to strike.

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READ MORE: Businesses praise feds for Canada Post back-to-work legislation

Kevin Rebeck, the president of the Manitoba Federation of Labour, said it’s a concern for all workers, not just postal workers.

“An injury to one is an injury to all,” he said.

Negotiations between Canada Post and workers had been underway for nearly a year, but the dispute escalated more recently when CUPW members launched rotating strikes Oct. 22.

The union said it is fighting for a deal that will address pay equity and health and safety issues, among other things.

READ MORE: Delivery backlogs to continue as Canada Post union calls for ‘civil disobedience’

Rebeck said the right to strike is a key element of collective bargaining, and by legislating Canada Post employees back to work, the federal government has shown disregard for fair labour practices.

“It’s our sincere hope that Canada Post will take this seriously and meet and work out and negotiate a deal,” he said.

“If not, the federal government have empowered the mediator to become an arbitrator that will dictate what the terms of a collective agreement are … that’s not fair and that’s not right.”

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