Canada threatens to legislate end to strike by mail workers

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Canadian government on Tuesday said it was prepared to legislate an end to a series of strikes by postal workers that is threatening to disrupt deliveries over the Christmas season.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers last month began a series of rotating stoppages to press their demands for increased health benefits and job security. Their employer, Canada Post, is the country’s primary postal operator.

“We strongly encourage both sides to reach a deal and are prepared to (introduce) legislation if we do not see a resolution over the next few days,” federal Labour Minister Patty Hajdu said in a statement.

Previous governments have used back-to-work legislation to end strikes in critical sectors. The ruling Liberals have a majority in the House of Commons, which means lawmakers could quickly approve such a measure.

Canada Post says massive backlogs of mail have already built up at its main sorting centers. Mail is being delivered to customers sporadically.

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