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'We will fight' in court if back-to-work legislation passes, postal union warns

A Canada Post employee drives a mail truck through downtown Halifax on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government has introduced legislation to force an end to rotating strikes by Canada Post employees.

Labour Minister Patty Hajdu tabled the bill in the House of Commons today, just one day after a special mediator was re-appointed in an effort to reach contract agreements between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

CUPW members have been holding rotating walkouts for a month in an effort to back their contract demands, causing massive backlogs of unsorted mail and packages at postal depots.

Their union has warned of a legal battle if the federal government passes the back-to-work legislation, calling such a move unconstitutional.

Thousands of workers have stopped processing and delivering mail for a day at a time in communities across the country for the past five weeks. Canada Post has said clearing the backlog that’s built up, especially at major sorting centres in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, could take into 2019.

Businesses that ship merchandise by post have asked, more and more urgently, for the government to intervene before the Christmas shopping season gets any more intense.

The Canadian Press