CUPW Wins Again: Federal Court Throws Out Lisa Raitt's Arbitrator

OTTAWA, Jan. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - The union representing the majority of postal workers across the country has notched up another win in its battle against the Harper government's back-to-work legislation of last summer.

A federal court in Montreal has overturned Minister of Labour Lisa Raitt's appointment of retired judge Coulter Osbourne to arbitrate the labour dispute and ordered Raitt to appoint a bilingual arbitrator with labour relations experience. Osbourne, a unilingual judge with no previous labour experience, resigned in November; had he not done so, this decision, handed down by Judge Martineau, would have cancelled his appointment.

In a prior victory, the courts ordered a stay of arbitration proceedings until this matter could be settled.

"The courts are recognizing the injustice of Harper's treatment of working people," said Denis Lemelin, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

In June 2011, thousands of urban postal workers went on rotating strikes and were then locked out in a massive shutdown of the country's postal system by Canada Post management. The Conservatives used the shutdown to legislate the postal workers back-to-work, imposing punitive measures that blatantly tipped the scale in favour of their employer.

The CUPW is challenging the back-to-work legislation as unjust interference in free collective bargaining.

"We'll continue to fight this government's attack on workers using all the means at our disposal," said Lemelin.


For further information:

Aalya Ahmad, CUPW Communications, at 613-327-1177

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