Bloomberg News

Canada Lawmakers Pass Bill Aimed at Ending Postal Work Stoppage

June 25, 2011

June 25 (Bloomberg) -- Canada’s Conservative government used its parliamentary majority to pass legislation that would end a 3-week old labor dispute at Canada Post after opposition lawmakers forced the legislature to sit since June 23 without interruption.

The legislation, which will order about 48,000 employees back to work at government-owned Canada Post, passed by a 158- 112 margin. The bill must now be approved by the Senate, where the Conservatives also have a majority, before it becomes law.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers began a series of rotating strikes June 2, and the company locked out workers June 14. Talks between Canada Post and the union broke off earlier this week.

Under a motion passed by the government last week, the House of Commons sat continuously until the legislation passed. Opposition leader Jack Layton had each of the 103 New Democratic Party lawmakers participate in the debate, delaying its passage for nearly three days.

Marc Roy, a spokesman for Senate opposition Liberal leader James Cowan, said last week that the Liberals -- the only other major party in the Senate -- don’t plan to stand in the way of the bill being passed quickly. Once the bill passes the Senate it will receive “Royal Assent,” and under the terms of the legislation, workers have to be back on the job 24 hours later.

--Editors: Paul Badertscher, Paul Tighe

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To contact the reporter on this story: Doug Alexander in Toronto at dalexander3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net.


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