Langley postal workers were walking the picket line Monday morning. The union could be forced back to work as early as Tuesday by federal legislation. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

VIDEO: Langley postal workers frustrated by back to work legislation

Local letter carriers expect a deluge of extra work through December.

Striking Lower Mainland postal workers say the federal government’s push to legislate them back to work will mean more compulsory overtime for local delivery workers.

“We’re frustrated, we’re kind of apprehensive,” said Carla Wood, the Monday morning picket captain at the Canada Post facility on Langley’s Production Way.

The Canada Post workers have been launching rotating strikes across the country since Oct. 22. So far, workers in Langley have only been off work for three days since the strike began.

But with the busiest time of the year coming up, workers believe they’ll have to head back to the job and also work past the end of their shifts, in some cases without pay for the extra time.

They’re also worried because they’ve seen deduction from their pay cheques – but they don’t know if the reductions actually correlate to the number of days they’ve been on strike, Wood said. The union is looking into the issue, she said.

Employees have also had vacations and planned leave cancelled by the company, said Wood, affecting things like visits to doctors.

Striking worker Wes Osterman said it felt like the Canada Post management had no incentive to really bargain with the workers.

“They know the government has always got their back, and the government will enact the legislation to force the union back to work. Well, nothing ever gets solved with these issues,” Osterman said.

As of Monday, the Senate was debating Bill C-89, which was fast tracked through the House of Commons last week.

A final debate on the legislation was expected to take place as early as Monday afternoon, and if the bill passed, postal workers could be forced back to work as early as Tuesday afternoon.

The postal workers say health, safety, and pay equity for different classes of mail delivery workers are among their key issues.

READ MORE: Senators to resume debate on postal legislation

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mclaxton@langleyadvance.com

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