Postal negotiators still talking as Senate vote on back-to-work bill approaches

OTTAWA — Both sides say their negotiators remain at the table as a Senate vote on legislation that would force an end to rotating walkouts at Canada Post inches closer.

Canada Post says it’s delivering packages this weekend, but at much lower volumes than normal at this time of year.

A spokesman for the Crown corporation says work restrictions imposed by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, including a ban on overtime, mean about 30,000 parcels will be delivered to Canadians over the weekend.

Jon Hamilton says that number is normally in the range of 500,000 packages in late November.

The Senate is set to resume debate tomorrow afternoon (2 p.m. ET) on back-to-work legislation that was introduced by the Trudeau Liberals last week and passed in the House of Commons.

A Senate official says a final vote on the bill is expected tomorrow, possibly by early evening with royal assent soon afterwards, barring any proposed amendments that, if passed, could see the legislation returned to the Commons.

Postal workers have been holding rotating strikes across the country since Oct. 22, creating substantial backlogs at Canada Post’s main sorting plants in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

Picket lines were up on Sunday in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., as well as in a few areas of British Columbia.

CUPW national president Mike Palecek says “all options are on the table” as the union decides how to fight the back-to-work legislation, which the union says violates the rights of postal employees to free and collective bargaining.

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