Canada Post union files constitutional challenge against back-to-work legislation

Postal workers were ordered back to work in November

The union representing postal workers in Canada is filing a constitutional challenge after federal legislation forced its members back to work late last month.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers will file the challenge in Ontario Superior Court, the union announced Tuesday morning.

The court action comes after the federal government passed Bill C-89, which forced postal workers to return to work under their previous collective agreement on Nov. 27, after more five weeks of rotating strikes across the country.

It comes just one day after Elizabeth MacPherson, a former chair of the Canada Industrial Relations Board, was appointed to help end the strike.

MacPherson will have up to 14 days to try to reach negotiated contract settlements between the Crown corporation and the union.

READ MORE: Canada Post backlog, Greyhound exit creating headaches ahead of the holidays

READ MORE: Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

“You cannot legislate labour peace,” said union national president Mike Palecek. “This law violates our right to free collective bargaining under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

A 2015 Supreme Court of Canada decision found the right to strike was “fundamental and protected by the Constitution.”

Canada Post did not immediately return a request for comment.

More to come.

– with files from The Canadian Press


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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