Worldwide shipping to Canada starting to be suspended as strike continues

Wallis SnowdonJournalist

Canada's postal service issued a plea on Friday for the rest of the world to stop sending in mail as its striking workers rejected the latest contract offer. "As a result, we have been forced to advise worldwide posts, including the United States Postal Service, that we are unable to accept incoming items until further notice", it said in an email.

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.

"We understand that our customers are frustrated; we are also frustrated", Palecek said.

In an interview with CBC News, Hamilton said the backlog is a record for Canada Post with 600 trailers filling distribution centre yards, each containing an average of 2,500 parcels.

"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. Canada Post said their offer includes pay increases and a signing bonus, and addresses a number of safety concerns. Until an agreement has been reached between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the future of your holiday gifts and deliveries is uncertain.


"CUPW members voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking strike action if necessary to achieve our demands at the bargaining table", the union's national president Mike Palecek said in a statement.

Canada Post said recent major shutdowns of parcel processing in Toronto and Vancouver have created a backlog of almost 500 tractor-trailer loads of parcels and packages that need to be sorted - 375 trailers in Toronto and 120 as of Thursday morning in Vancouver.

"There is no reason to halt worldwide shipments", he said in a statement. "But we can not go back to work at the busiest time of the year without fixing the issues that keep us injured and overworked".

The union said it wants concrete proposals for dealing with an escalating number of work injuries at Canada Post.

Online sales giant eBay has called on the government to legislate an end to the labour dispute before the holiday shopping rush hits its first peak later this month with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

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