Manitoba Public Insurance is defending a letter that was sent out to striking staff with information on how to cross the picket line.

The union representing the workers is calling the move divisive and desperate.

The letter suggests that any of the 17 hundred workers on strike who want to return to work should reach out to H-R via an included email address.

M-P-I board chair Ward Keith says the letter wasn't sent to encourage striking staff to return to work but to answer questions received by management about coming back to work.

with files from the Canadian Press