Local supporters of Canada Post workers, forced back to work last week by federal legislation, gathered at the Hope post office Saturday, Dec. 1. Submitted photo

Protesters gather at Hope post office in support of ‘posties’ mandated back to work

Protest actions taking place at Canada Post locations including Hope and Chilliwack

Supporters of Canada Post workers mandated back to work by federal legislation gathered in front of the Hope post office last Saturday.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 1, union workers and other community members stood outside the post office on 777 Fraser Avenue. They carried signs reading among other slogans ‘equal pay for equal work’, ‘bargain, it’s the law’ and ‘negotiate, don’t legislate.’

Canada Post workers were back to work last Tuesday after the Senate ordered an end to over a month of rotating strikes with the passage of back-to-work legislation. Bill C-89, approved by the Senate in a 53-25 vote with four senators abstaining, was deemed urgent by the federal government due to the timing of protests close to the holidays and the economic impact it could have during this busy season.

RELATED: Senate passes back-to-work bill, putting end to rotating postal strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) says it will look at all options to fight the legislation.

“After 37 days of rotating strikes, unconstitutional legislation has removed the right to strike for postal workers,” CUPW president Mike Palecek said in a statement Tuesday. He called for a “campaign of mobilizations, demonstrations and non-violent civil disobedience,” from union members and allies.

Demonstrations were held across the country last week, including 19 protests with plans to block outgoing mail by members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

RELATED: Unions block trucks at Canada Post depot in B.C. to protest back-to-work bill

RELATED: Canada Post says protests at facilities in some provinces violates court orders

Hope protester Victor Mitchell said it is crucial to defend workers’ rights.

“I think it’s disgusting that the government has taken this step,” he said. “The postal workers have their rights under the constitution to bargain fairly and not be legislated back.”

Mitchell said the community support was really good. A card with the message ‘we support our posties’ was full of signatures after the day-long protest.

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