As of Saturday, June 18th, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will no longer accept mail heading to Canada. Due to the lockout of Canadian United Postal Workers (CUPW) by Canada Post, the USPS is holding Canadian bound mail in its system and declining to accept any new mail in an attempt to minimize inconvenience to its customers. Officials for the USPS will monitor the situation and resume service to Canada as soon as the situation there is resolved. But this is just one of the chapters in the ongoing lockout/strike pitting Canadian postal workers against the Crown Corporation with Canadians caught in between.
Meanwhile in Canada, legislation to end the work stoppage was will be tabled this coming Monday as both the NDP and Liberal parties threaten to block any legislation that will put an end to the strike/lockout.
Labour Minister, Lisa Riatt, announced on Thursday that she intended to introduce legislation to end both the CUPW’s dispute with Canada Post and the Air Canada strike, but when Air Canada’s strike ended an hour later, the legislation was tabled and rescheduled for Monday, June 20th to deal with just the mail stoppage issue.
Rolling Strikes and Government Interventions
The CUPW had been staging rolling strikes at major hubs across the country for two weeks in an attempt to move along stalled contract negotiations, prompting Canada Post to lock union members out on Wednesday. While the NDP and Liberal parties are calling the legislation to bring the situation to a halt “government intrusion,” Riatt insists that a prolonged lockout will have a major impact on the nation’s economy and is, therefore, a government concern.
Social Security Checks Will Still Be in the Mail
Ironically, Monday will still see the delivery of government-issued mail as Canada Post and the CUPW agreed to delivery important checks like CPP, Old Age Security, Veterans’ Affairs and Canada Tax Benefit Cheques. In addition, Quebec’s Child Assistance, Pension and Income Security and Alberta Pension checks will also be delivered.
The tabled legislation will be debated on Tuesday, but there is concern it might not be passed before Thursday when Parliament is scheduled to go on summer break. The government could possibly extend the current session to pass the legislation, and if this happens, mail delivery would resume quickly.
What Do You Think?
Do you have letters or parcel languishing in the system? Or have you largely learned to bypass conventional postal services?