Starting this week mail delivery in Prince Rupert is going to be reduced down to only three days a week instead of the normal five.
One might think that this is a move by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) to put pressure on Canada Post during the strike, but that isn’t the case. The reduction of delivery service was ordered by the crown corporation itself, which it claims is supposed to reduce the costs of the strike for the taxpayer.
According to Canada Post representatives, the amount of mail going through the public mail system has dropped dramatically since the strike began, due most likely to people and businesses finding alternatives to the postal service during the strike. The 66 to 70 trucks full of mail that came out of Toronto on a daily basis has dropped to under 10, according to the crown corporation.
With less mail comes less revenues say the representatives, and so they have decided cut delivery days in order to save money that must ultimately come out of the pockets of the federal government. Postal workers have accused the corporation of cutting hours as a tactic in the ongoing labour dispute.
Paula Picard is the CUPW representative in Prince Rupert; she says that the volume of mail coming into the city has not dropped, and if it has, not by much.
Before cutting deliveries, the corporation also stopped paying for overtime last week and told casual and temp employees not to come in to work. According to Picard, this alone has already begun to create a backlog of undelivered mail in Prince Rupert, and if deliveries are cut it’s certain to get worse.
The corporation admits that it’s very possible that the volume of mail in Prince Rupert has not dropped like it has in other parts of the country. Representative from Canada Post say that they will be monitoring the flow of mail and making increasing deliveries where they are needed. Montreal, for instance, will be stay at a five-day delivery schedule because the volume of mail there has remained high.