Lisa Raitt, the Canadian Minister of Labor, said her Federal Conservative party has introduced a law to end the strike that has paralyzed the nation’s state-owned postal system, Canada Post.
Under the new legislation, an arbitrator would decide the final offer (either from union or management) which would form the basis on a new contract.
It is one deal or the other, she told reporters.
Our cards are on the table. They understand fully the process we envisage for them in order to bring closure to this issue. And if they don't like the process, they should work together to find their own.
The principal opposition, New Democratic Party (NDP), said it will postpone passage of the bill as long as they can.
You [postal workers] have every right to negotiate a fair contract with your employer, NDP leader Jack Layton said in a speech in Vancouver.
We support that right every step of the way.
But since, the Conservatives hold a majority of the seats in the legislature, the law will likely pass.
Bev Ray, the Edmonton president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers said he hopes such a law does not force employees to go back to work.
If the Federal Government imposes back to work legislation, it's the death of collective bargaining in this country for a lot of working people. Ray told CTV News.
Mail delivery has been completely shut down in Canada since June 3, when almost 50,000 Canada Post employees commenced a series of rotating strikes, after the union and management failed to hammer out a new contract.
Last week, the chief of Canada Post said the two sides are still far apart on such important subjects as wages and pension plans.