Back-to-work legislation ends strike for postal workers in Fernie

Service resumed at Canada Post offices on Tuesday after employees were locked out for two weeks.

  • Jun. 29, 2011 8:00 p.m.

Service resumed at Canada Post offices on Tuesday after employees were locked out for two weeks.

“Employees have a lot of mail to sort through,” said John Caines, spokesman for Canada Post on Monday. “There is unprocessed mail that accumulated during the lock out, a backlog of foreign mail and the new mail from today that needs to be processed.”

Caines said that it would likely take a few days for service as usual to resume.

“We don’t want to overload our carriers. We want to make sure there is a manageable work load,” he said.

Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers were unable to reach an agreement on their own and the federal government drafted back-to-work legislation, which received royal assent on Saturday night.

Plant workers went back to work on Monday to begin sorting the backlog of mail, and Canada Post’s red boxes were also unlocked on Monday.

Residential and business customers began receiving mail on Tuesday.

Caines said that no agreement had been reached before employees were sent back to work by the government legislation.

He said that Canada Post and the union will be submitting proposed final contracts and that one will be selected as the new contract between the two parties.

The new law passed by the federal government imposes a four-year contract on the workers, specifies pay increases and leaves other disputed issues to binding arbitration. It also provides union members with slightly lower wages than the last offer from the post office.

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