NDP Leader Jack Layton said the party would stand up for postal workers next week in Parliamentary debate on legislation to end the Canada Post lockup.
"We'll use the parliamentary tools we have at our disposal to see the legislation fully debated," he told reporters during a scrum.
He accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of essentially "shutting down" the postal service.
"It's certainly the wrong thing to do, and it sends a very bad signal out to the working people that tromp up and down on our sidewalks and deliver our mail to our communities and homes that he doesn't respect the bargaining process."
Asked if he was concerned about labour ties being an impediment to the party's march to government, Mr. Layton said "No. I am not," then ended the scrum.
Mr. Layton's remarks came after NDP national director Brad Lavigne said the federal party is planning to grow its support en route to government without moderating its embrace of labour.
"The relationship with labour is an asset and has never been stronger, " Brad Lavigne told a briefing at the party's biennial convention, also marking its 50th anniversary.
"One of the most effective things (Jack) Layton has done is kept the traditional New Democratic base while he's expanded it."
The labour- NDP bond, he said, did not hold the party from soaring from 39 to 103 seats in the last federal election.
And he said the path ahead is a tactical exercise that includes such necessities as challenging the Conservatives for support among such constituencies as suburban voters, new Canadians and disaffected Conservatives.
"We've got four years to map out that gameplan," he said.
"We're going to build so the realignment that took place on May 2 is entrenched and expanded."
Mr. Lavigne's assertion came after Ken Georgetti, head of the Canadian Labour Congress, spoke to more than 1,600 delegates attending the meeting.
Mr. Georgetti touted labour's connection to the NDP, noting organized labour has been with New Democrats in their lows and are now very much with them in their highs.
"Our support will never waver," he said. "Let's convince this country that an NDP led by Prime Minister Jack Layton is what this country needs."
In an interview following his speech, Mr. Georgetti said he has no fears of being stood up by an NDP wooing new constituencies in the political centre.
"Impossible. We're an integral part of the party. We're woven into the fabric and governance of the party and it will stay that way."
Mr. Georgetti also noted that labour has provided crucial resources to NDP campaigns, including canvassers.