Greater Victoria letter carriers won’t walk off job, union says

The postal workers' union will challenge a federal back-to-work order in court, but the process could take years.

  • Jun. 29, 2011 6:00 a.m.

The postal workers’ union will challenge a federal back-to-work order in court, but the process could take years.

“We think (the legislation) might be illegal,” said John Bail, national director for CUPW Pacific.

After 12 days of rotating strikes and 13 days of being locked out, postal workers were legislated back to work last week.

Bail said back-to-work orders “tend to tear up (parts of) collective agreements. They have no roots in democracy.”

The next step is arbitration, in which the union and employer each make offers on non-wage issues. One will be chosen.

In terms of wages, the union was forced to accept wages that are actually less than what Canada Post had offered in its last offer.

Meanwhile, workers resumed mail delivery mid-week in Greater Victoria. Bail said employees are “grumbling” about the effects of the legislation, but are happy to be receiving paycheques.

“They’re grumbling. They’ve got jobs, though. They’re happy to be serving the public. We got a lot of public support on this, so they’re happy about that.”

Bail added the public needn’t worry about postal workers defying the back-to-work order. Mail delivery will continue while the legal challenge develops.

ecardone@vicnews.com