OTTAWA, Aug. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is welcoming the decision of a Federal Court Justice to remove the second arbitrator appointed by Minister of Labour Lisa Raitt to oversee the imposition of back-to-work legislation and a final offer selection.
"This decision shows that we have been right to oppose this flawed process," said Denis Lemelin, CUPW National President. "The government is not getting it right."
Guy Dufort was removed as arbitrator in a decision handed down this morning by Judge Tremblay-Lamer. Following his appointment by Minister Raitt on March 15th, Dufort sent his resumé to the union, which included details of his involvement as a high-ranking official with both the Conservative Party of Canada and as an advocate for Canada Post Corporation in its pay equity case. On learning of these details, the union asked Dufort to step down, as had his predecessor, Judge Coulter Osborne. But in April, Dufort refused to recuse himself, claiming that he had ceased all partisan activity in 2010 and that therefore the union's apprehension of bias was not reasonable.
The union then produced links to Conservative Party groups as "activities and interests" on Dufort's Facebook page and the fact that Dufort listed both Lisa Raitt and Steven Fletcher, the Minister of Transport responsible for Canada Post as "friends." In May 2012, Dufort removed these links from his Facebook page but Judge Tremblay-Lamer pointed out that this would create a reasonable apprehension of bias.
The union has written to Lisa Raitt, asking that a mediator be appointed to facilitate the collective bargaining process instead of appointing another "friend" to force a winner-takes-all final offer selection on the parties as mandated by the back-to-work legislation.
"Forced settlements do not work," said Lemelin. "We want to be proactive and obtain a fair deal for our members."
SOURCE: CANADIAN UNION OF POSTAL WORKERS
For further information:
Aalya Ahmad, CUPW Communications, 613-327-1177