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Court Enjoins Unlawful Canada Post Worker Picketing

In an urgent motion heard on June 16, 2011, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ordered Canada Post Workers’ union, the CUPW, to refrain, for a period of 10 days, from preventing, blocking, or obstructing any person from entering the a key Ottawa mail sorting facility on foot.

The court found the union and its members had crossed the line from protected picketing activity to potentially criminal misconduct.  The court stated: “CUPW has a protected right to express itself and to picket as a form of that expression. Managers and supervisors have a right to attend at their place of employment. Employers have a right to expect that their managers and supervisors attend at their place of work. However, completely blocking supervisors and managers from entering their workplace goes well beyond the protected activities of CUPW and should be enjoined.”

The decision is consistent with earlier jurisprudence and upholds the principle that Charter rights of free speech and association, must be balanced against the right to security of the person and the rule of law.

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