Canada Post union scores delay in arbitration
Canada Post's union has scored a win in Federal Court that slows the arbitration process in a labour dispute stretching back to June.
The decision means the Canadian Union of Postal Workers won't have to go into arbitration until a judge can hear their appeal of the arbitrator, according to a union news release. That appeal is scheduled for January.
"This decision shows that the union is on the right track. We are questioning the process by which this government has forced its will on postal workers," Denis Lemelin, CUPW national president and chief negotiator, said in the news release.
A spokesperson from Canada Post, however, said the decision would further prolong the process, causing "long-term detriment" to the company.
"Urgent action is required to address Canada Post’s labour cost structure in order to help protect the long-term sustainability of the corporation," Anick Losier said in an email.
CUPW went on rotating strikes last June and were then locked out, prompting the government to table back-to-work legislation.
The NDP opposed the legislation, which they said was taking away workers' right to strike, and forced three days of continuous sittings in the House of Commons.
The union has also launched a separate constitutional challenge against the back-to-work legislation, arguing it violates their freedom to associate.
CUPW say they object to the arbitrator appointed by Labour Minister Lisa Raitt. Anthony Arthur Coulter Osborne is a unilingual judge without any previous experience in labour relations, they say.
Normally, the parties agree upon arbitrators.
Raitt's office declined to comment on the decision, saying the case is before the courts.