A group of people gathered in front of territorial MP Michael McLeod’s office on Saturday to protest the back-to-work legislation in support of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
Saturday was a day of action across Canada to support postal workers and the right to strike. Coordinator of the Delivering Community Power campaign James Hutt who helped plan the events says there were 32 actions across the country, including the one in Yellowknife.
“We reached out, we had some allies there and they said they wanted to do something in Yellowknife as well. It was supported by The Federation of Labour and other labour union allies who came out an rallied.”
After more than five weeks of rotating strikes, postal workers from across the nation were legislated back to work last week when the federal government passed Bill C-89, forcing an end to the strikes.
Hutt notes the protest was meant to put pressure on the government to overturn Bill C-89 because it’s going to be found unconstitutional just like it was in 2011 under the Harper administration.
“It takes away from everyone’s rights; the right to strike is in the Charter of Rights. We want to allow postal workers to negotiate a free and fair collective agreement for things like postal banking that invests in our communities and climate-friendly delivery. It benefits everybody, so why strip the postal workers the right to negotiate?”
Hutt claims the response from people all over Canada was overwhelming and that it showed solidarity.
“The day of action showed them that thousands of people all across the country are willing to stand with the postal workers and fight back. Everyone has been attacked by this unjust and unconstitutional legislation. They can’t just attack workers rights one weekend and forget about it the next. The Liberals have picked a battle with everyone in the country.”
Hutt states that the CUPW and its allies will keep pushing forward with a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience in hopes to get the bill overturned.