Tuesday, November 20 ~ NATIONAL.
“Expect long delivery delays,” says Canada Post in a statement today November 20. Rotating strikes continue — now in their fifth week — and have touched virtually every Canada Post facility and every Canadian address so far.
“Mail and parcels in or entering its network will have long and unpredictable delays before being delivered,” says Canada Post, adding this is “likely to be the situation for the foreseeable future, meaning the next several weeks, including the peak holiday season and through January 2019”.
Saying their “last ditch effort to resume full operations” has been exhausted, Canada Post says that “the postal service remains operational”. But the Crown corporation has advised commercial customers that it is “not able to honour its delivery standards for any product because of prolonged and ongoing rotating strikes”.
The strikes have created massive backlogs of mail and parcels in the Canada Post network. This comes just days before millions more parcels are expected from online sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Canada Post told TV media that some first-class mail items will be ‘hand picked’ and prioritized for delivery such as government-issued support payments and Christmas cards.
It remains unclear whether consumers will blindly shop online anyhow, or go shopping the old fashioned way at retail stores and malls. And for sending gifts to people at a distance, sending funds by Interac e-transfer is likely to increase, so the recipient can shop for their own items in a brick-and-mortar retail location.
The worst delays are expected for mail and parcels for items that originate or are destined for southern and southwestern Ontario where there are large populations and the bulk of consumer-target enterprises. That includes the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton-Kitchener-London, and Barrie-Sudbury areas (L, M, N, P postal codes).
As early as the end of this week, Canada Post says they may be unable to honour pickups and induct items in the GTA due to lack of trailers and space.
Employees represented by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) are no longer working overtime or weekends and temporary employees are discouraged from working extra hours.
With the backlogs, Canada Post is running out of trailers and equipment, such as containers, because they are sitting full of parcels and mail, unable to be unloaded, rather than being emptied and made available for the next customer.
Once Canada Post receives mail or parcels from customers, it is processing and delivering as much as possible on a first-in, first-out basis. International items will require screening by the Canada Border Services Agency and we are working in partnership with them to manage the significant existing backlog.
The best advice we can give to customers looking to mitigate these circumstances for their mailings or parcel inductions is below and will be updated often as circumstances change.
In BC, the postal dispute has very likely impacted the rate of return of ballots by mail. As of today November 20, Elections BC has not yet confirmed whether there will be an extension of the deadline for voters to return by-mail ballots beyond the current 4:30 pm deadline on Friday, November 30, 2018. Ballot returns stand at about 24% of registered voters (11.4% of those processed so far, after receipt). Ballots can also be delivered directly to Elections BC or Service BC offices.
Editorial: Parcels for Christmas and resolving labour disputes (as first published on page 2 in the November 16, 2018 print/PDF issue of West Shore Voice News)
Article: Postal strike: impact on Xmas & electoral reform referendum (as first published on page 1 in the November 16, 2018 print/PDF issue of West Shore Voice News)
Canada Post website with their current updates