Workers' Rights Take a Big Hit Under Harper's Majority Government

OTTAWA, June 25, 2011 /CNW/ - The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) says the Harper government has sent a message to all workers with its unjust and punitive bill legislating postal workers back to work.

"The government is clearly willing to side with employers to grind down wages and working conditions," said CUPW National President Denis Lemelin. "Its decision to use back-to-work legislation in the Canada Post and Air Canada disputes was not neutral. The Conservatives have shown themselves to be very anti-worker after only two months of majority government."

Lemelin said the government's assertion that its legislation was necessary to protect the economy is illogical. He said postal workers had offered to return to work. "The government has attacked our right to freely negotiate the conditions we work under," said Lemelin. "It appears that only markets and employers will have freedoms in this country."

"The union's struggle for safe work, decent jobs and pensions will continue in spite of this unjust and punitive bill. Fortunately, the government can't legislate away our determination to fight for our rights," said Lemelin.

Lemelin added that postal workers are very grateful for the support they received from people all across the country and opposition Members of Parliament, especially members of the New Democratic Party (NDP) who eloquently defended free collective bargaining for 58 hours straight. He said the NDP's filibuster was successful in provoking a resumption of negotiations between CUPW and Canada Post over the last few days, but that the negotiations had ultimately failed.

"Canada Post was uncompromising from the moment Harper's government introduced back-to-work legislation," said Lemelin.

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You can visit the CUPW website at: www.cupw.ca