Toronto Star

Postal protesters picket despite injunction

Coalition blocks mail at large Canada Post processing plant in GTA

- STEFANIE MAROTTA STAFF REPORTER With files from Ilya Bañares

Demonstrat­ors in more than 25 cities across the country are picketing in support of postal workers this weekend, with a group in Mississaug­a blocking the entrance to one of Canada Post’s busiest processing plants Saturday morning. The federal government passed back-to-work legislatio­n Monday to force postal workers back to work after five weeks of rotating strikes in Canadian cities.

The demonstrat­ions, led by Delivering Community Power, a coalition of Canadian union and advocacy groups including the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), oppose the government’s decision to implement the back-to-work legislatio­n.

While the pickets allowed postal workers into the Missis- sauga plant, they kept mail and packages from entering.

Canada Post said that the picketing is illegal and in violation of an injunction issued by the Ontario Superior Court that prevents the blockading of Canada Post facilities in the province. The Crown corporatio­n said that it will take action to “address the illegal activity.”

“This activity has been undertaken by persons who are not employees of Canada Post and have no affiliatio­n with the company,” Canada Post said in a statement. “The protesters are in violation of the court order. We will take all appropriat­e action to address illegal activity impacting the collection and delivery of mail and parcels to Canadians.”

The demonstrat­ors in Mississaug­a were served with an injunction at around noon to cease picketing, according to CUPE Ontario.

The union said that it intended to picket at the plant until 10 p.m., but later dispersed from the site shortly after 4:30 p.m.

After the federal government’s announceme­nt last week, Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) president Mike Palecek condemned the back-to-work legislatio­n as unconstitu­tional, but asked the union’s members to return to work while hinting at plans for ongoing protests.

CUPW said it called the rotating strikes over perceived gaps in equity, equality, health and safety.

“We will take all appropriat­e action to address illegal activity impacting the collection and delivery of mail and parcels.” CANADA POST STATEMENT

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