Back-to-work legislation ruled unconstitutional
An April 28, 2017 ruling by Ontario Superior Court Justice Firestone ruled that the former Conservative government violated postal workers' freedom of association by legislating them back to work in June 2011.
"In 2011, Canada Post and the Conservative government gamed the system by first locking postal workers out and then forcing us back to work," said Mike Palecek, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. "This interference was completely unfair and meant we could not freely bargain."
The judge agreed.
Justice Firestone declared that the legislation, which also imposed an offer on the postal workers, "violates the rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression" under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms sections 2d) and 2b), and that it is "unconstitutional and of no force and effect."
"This court ruling is another victory in defense of the right to strike for all unionized workers," said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. "It means that government must tread extremely carefully when it seeks to tip bargaining in favour of employers by removing strike action as an option for workers in a collective bargaining dispute. The transportation sector - including grain handling - has often borne the brunt of government interference with the right to strike."