Arrests as picketers return to Canada Post sorting centre

Police made several arrests Wednesday morning as demonstrators were again picketing at Canada Post’s mail processing plant in support of posties ordered back to work.

Police said that the demonstrators arrived at the Sandford Fleming Avenue facility in the wee hours and pegged their number at about 30 and arrests at “a few.”

“We’re assessing the situation as it progresses,” said Const. Chuck Benoit, who could not immediately specify how many people had been arrested and whether any had been charged or issued tickets.

Canada Post said Monday that “individuals are illegally obstructing the movement of mail” at its facilities in Ottawa, Hamilton and Oshawa.

“We’ll continue to take appropriate action to address illegal activity impacting the collection and delivery of mail and parcels,” the corporation said.

In Ottawa, the protesters were from the Revolutionary Communist Party Ottawa branch and the International Workers of the World, a spokesman said.

On Saturday, Canada Post reported that it had experienced illegal picketing by people “who are not employees of Canada Post and have no affiliation with the company” despite the Ontario Superior Court injunction against blockades of its Ontario facilities.

The Senate passed back-to-work legislation a week ago as rotating strikes entered their sixth week.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers hailed its “allies” Monday, pointing to blockades of Canada Post facilities in Ottawa, Oshawa and Hamilton and to demonstrations across the country over the weekend. Six people were arrested in Halifax over the weekend for blockading a mail facility.

It’s become a fight about all unionized workers’ rights to free collective bargaining, the union said, calling on Canada Post to return to the table and bargain with its workers.

“The labour movement is stepping up in a big way to support postal workers and fight for the right to free collective bargaining,” the union said. “The Liberal government thought they could legislate labour peace. They have been proven wrong.”

Police warned of traffic disruptions and slow-downs in the area Wednesday due to the demonstration.

 


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