A week after they were ordered back to work last week, Canada Post workers protested in front of Liberal MP Ralph Goodale’s constituency office in Regina on Saturday.
They were voicing displeasure with the federal government’s back-to-work legislation that ended a month of rotating strikes.
William Johnson, the local union president, said that decision weakened their right to bargain collectively with their employer.
“Parties should be able to collectively bargain and come up with collective through that process and not through government legislation,” Johnson said. “(Employers will) just wait it out and wait until government legislates us back. It emboldens employers to not actually collectively bargain.”
Johnson said the union will likely now challenge the government’s decision in court, as they did in 2011. A 2016 decision said the previous Conservative government’s back-to-work legislation violated workers’ right to freedom of association.
“I’m not sure how many times employers and governments need to understand that collective bargaining is a right under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” he said.
Some of the union’s demands were for overtime pay and for the Crown corporation to do something about the increase in number of parcels that letter carriers must deliver.
The union’s job action, Johnson said, was taken to mitigate disruption to the public.
“It wasn’t about the public. We wanted to create as little disruption as we could for the public,” he said. “I would suggest probably that most people in Regina didn’t realize there was a strike going on.”