Montreal

Montreal postal workers block Purolator centre

About 150 locked-out Canada Post workers blocked access in and out of a Purolator Courier distribution centre in Laval, Que. for an hour Tuesday morning.
Locked-out postal workers block several Purolator trucks from entering a Laval, Que. distribution centre Tuesday morning. (Lauren McCallum/CBC)

About 150 locked-out Canada Post workers blocked access in and out of a Purolator Courier distribution centre in Laval, Que. for an hour Tuesday morning.

Eleven trucks were held up until police officers arrived on the scene to intervene and allow the vehicles to pass just after 9 a.m.

The locked-out workers were protesting back-to-work legislation that will be debated over the next few days, with a likely vote on Thursday in the House of Commons.

The union representing Canada Post workers said Tuesday in Montreal they wanted to warn Purolator employees that they could also face a similar labour dispute, since the courier company is owned by Canada Post.

Protesting workers told CBC reporter Lauren McCallum that Labour Minister Lisa Raitt was "heavy-handed" in tabling the back-to-work bill and that the government did not give both sides enough time to come to an agreement.

The back-to-work legislation sets wage hikes for postal workers at a lower rate than Canada Post's last offer on the table.

Canada Post suspended urban postal operations countrywide last Wednesday after nearly two weeks of rotating strikes by the union.

The Crown corporation said Sunday that there was still time to reach a deal, even with Ottawa stepping in, if the union would look more closely at the existing deal on the table.

Police officers intervened to allow the trucks to pass during the peaceful demonstration. ((Lauren McCallum/CBC))

If the legislation is passed Thursday, Canadians could start receiving mail as early as next Monday, although Quebec has plans to make sure people receive their government cheques on time.

Some pension and social insurance cheques are available to be picked up at local employment offices, and certain government offices will act as temporary distribution centres from Tuesday until Thursday.

The offices will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday.

For more information and a list of centres, Quebecers can check the government services website at www.servicesquebec.gouv.qc.ca

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