Canada Post asks international partners to halt shipments as backlog grows

Irving Hamilton
November 18, 2018

Items shipped from the United Kingdom over the last couple of days that are bound from Canada are being held at the Royal Mail distribution centre until the dispute is resolved.

Canada Post, meanwhile, said a backlog of deliveries that coincided with the start of the strike on 22 October has now extended to mail entering the country. However, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers told AFP that the offer, due to expire on Saturday, was "unsatisfactory" and the union "will not be presenting it to members".

"As a result of ongoing industrial action, we have now been requested to suspend the dispatching of worldwide traffic destined for Canada, from today until further notice", it said.

Online marketing giant eBay says it has also received a similar notification from China Post.

Canadians hoping to receive packages from worldwide shippers while rotating strikes impact Canada Post operations may be waiting a long time.

Canada Post said Wednesday it was facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, including 260 trailers filled with parcels waiting to be unloaded at its Gateway processing plant in Toronto.

CUPW said the latest proposals made positive steps, but not enough to put an end to walkouts, which rotated Friday through most of Manitoba, as well as communities in Ontario, B.C., Alberta and New Brunswick.

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Canada Post hoped that the CUPW would accept the offer to help prepare for the upcoming winter holidays and Black Friday / Cyber Monday deliveries.

There is no reason to halt global shipments.

"There is no reason to halt global shipments", he said in a statement. Let us solve our issues at the bargaining table. Canada Post said their offer includes pay increases and a signing bonus, and addresses a number of safety concerns.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that "all options will be on the table" to end postal disruptions if there was no progress in bargaining for new contracts. Trudeau did not specify what type of action might be taken, nor did he provide a timeline.

"Black Friday and Cyber Monday are critical sales opportunities for Canadian small and micro-retailers, particularly those that sell into the US - the largest consumer market in the world", said Ebay's general manager of Canada and Latin America operations, Andrea Stairs, in a letter to Candian prime minister Justin Trudeau.

With files from the CBC's Jeannie Lee.

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