Union leaders are mounting a fierce opposition to liberal legislation that will force Canada's workers to work, promising to fight government actions in the court and in the streets.
Canadian Labor Congress President (CLC) Hassan Iussuff and President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPV) Mike Palecek held a press conference at the Hill Assembly today denouncing the federal government's decision and warning that members will mobilize to protest.
Palecek said members are struggling for equity in payment and safe working conditions while employees face a "crisis" violation.
Ottawa, the local CUPV, issued a statement stating that members and "allies" occupied the office of Environment Minister Catherine McKenna in protest of labor bills.
Palecek said the law was on the eve of the government's statement on organized labor, and trade union members would fight.
"All options are on the table," he said.
Members of Parliament will continue the debate this morning on a quick law draft in the Home of Dining. It is still unclear when the actual bill could be debated, but the Senate is ready to sit over the weekend to consider any account that could explain the House under the command.
In 2011, the former conservative government adopted a labor law for workers from Canada Post, which was later challenged on constitutional grounds.
Five years later, the Ontario Supreme Court ruled in favor of postal workers, finding a law unconstitutional because it violated the freedom of association and expression of workers as guaranteed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Access to "dramatically different"
Asked why Liberal Legislation would not violate these constitutional rights, Labor Minister Patti Hajdu said on Thursday that the liberals took a "dramatically different" approach from conservative law. The former government did not allow a labor disorder and undertook a pre-emptive action that is detrimental to the workers' movement, she said.
"We have taken all the efforts for a long period of time to help these parties come to an agreement," she said.
Canadian Post in its fifth week of rotating strikes by thousands of trade union workers, without any sign of breakthrough in contract negotiations.
Hajdu said that these strikes have a negative impact on small businesses, people in rural and remote communities, and low-income Canadians who rely on checks to pay their bills.
Palecek of the CUPV said the government erroneously described the interference in service, because the strikes are rotating and the necessary checks directed at the elderly, and low-income Canadians continue to be delivered.
"We did not close the post office, but now the government is trying to close collective bargaining," he said.