The Harper Government has tabled back-to-work legislation to end the Canada Post lockout. The labour minister says this was necessary in order to protect those Canadians who rely on mail delivery.

"We're acting on the best interest of Canadians and the national economy," said Labour Minister Lisa Raitt.

This will mark the 33rd time back-to-work legislation has been used in Canada since the 50's. The legislation will force mail carriers back to work as soon as possible.

One week ago more than 48,000 postal workers were locked out by Canada Post. And despite the lock-out, volunteer postal workers were out working Monday to deliver Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, and child assistance cheques.

"I'm doing it solely for the public," said volunteer postal worker Ang Freer.

The back-to-work legislation will bring Canada Post and the union before an arbitrator with their best offer. The arbitrator will then pick one of the two offers.

"It's final selection binding arbitration," said Raitt.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of local postal workers gathered in front of Conservative MP Rona Ambrose's office protesting the legislation.

"This is a federal government that has completely hand cuffed the working people of this country for improving their conditions and their ability to earn a wage," said CUPW Edmonton president Bev Ray.

The New Democrats have signalled their intention to vote against the back-to-work bill, though

The New Democrats have expressed their interest in voting against the back-to-work bill, but they will be unable to stop the majority Conservatives from passing the legislation.

Postal workers staged rotating strikes across the country since June 3rd before the lock-out.

The stalling points in the dispute have been health and safety issues, as well as wages and pensions.

Canada Post has said the labour disruptions have cost the corporation $100 million.

With files from Kevin Armstrong & News Staff