The House of Commons has passed legislation ordering Canada Post workers back to work, in a lengthy session on Friday night.
Bill C-89, which passed on the third reading by 166 votes to 43, will now move on to the Senate. If granted royal assent, it will go into effect the following day.
— In the Chamber (@HoCChamber) November 24, 2018
Victoria was one of the first cities to be hit by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) country-wide rotating strike, which began over a month ago.
One of the reasons cited for adopting the bill was to make sure that small businesses don’t suffer due to lack of mail delivery through one of the most profitable times of the year.
Labour leaders along with the NDP have criticized the government for undermining the CUPW’s negotiations with Canada Post.
“Postal workers are trying to negotiate an end to wage discrimination and guarantee safer working conditions,” reads a petition started by the NDP.
“But today, Justin Trudeau is undermining those negotiations by imposing back-to-work legislation. He promised to be a friend to workers. But friends of workers don’t undermine fair collective bargaining.”
According to a CBC report, the government argues that Bill C-89 is consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because postal service is important for the economy and this new legislation will protect the interests of Canadian businesses.
However, the economy and rights of business owners is not mentioned in the charter.
Canadian workers were given the fundamental right to strike, protected by the constitution, in a 2015 Supreme Court ruling.