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Christmas gifts undelivered: CUPW

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/1/2011 (2425 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Thousands of Christmas packages sat undelivered in the former downtown post office as late as New Year's Eve, a local union official said.

"A good chunk of the parcels sitting in the 266 Graham Ave. building are Christmas wrapped," said Bob Tyer, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Since the introduction of Canada Post's modern delivery system in September, Tyer said there has been a considerable backup of undelivered mail -- especially during the holidays.

During the New Year's weekend, Canada Post employees were set to work overtime s to catch up on deliveries, Tyler said.

This fall, Canada Post introduced what it called a new, more efficient delivery system designed to cut costs. The new system requires letter carriers to carry two bundles of mail, instead of one. Routes and work days are also longer.

Some Winnipeg letter carriers went on strike in November to protest against the new system. Carriers have said it can cause back and neck injuries.

A spokeswoman for Canada Post, Anick Losier, said in an email that the corporation's employees are still adjusting to the new system.

"We just finished our busiest time of year," said Losier. "Our volumes in Winnipeg reached over 1.4 million pieces of mail daily, while normally it is just under one million pieces."

"We even had our people ensure all holiday-themed packages and cards were delivered to customers on time for the holidays," she said.

Tyer said mail service in Winnipeg wasn't as smooth as Losier makes it sound. Since the new system was implemented, the corporation "doesn't care if they don't cover all their routes anymore," he said.

One Winnipeg post office employee who asked not to be named said the corporation is sweeping its problems under a rug, hoping they will go away,

"At one of the depots, supervisors were throwing out 300 to 400 flyers that were a day late, instead of delivering them," the employee said.

Tyer said Canada Post has had countless complaints from businesses and employees regarding the new system, but Losier said the changes were necessary "to help our company stay efficient and viable."

"That's what will protect the future of the company and our employees' incomes and pensions," said Losier.

Tyer said that since September staff injuries have risen "astronomically," and Canada Post has not hired enough people to fill vacancies due to injury and staff retirements.

During the holiday rush, Canada Post brought in retirees and supervisors from across the country to deliver the additional mail.

katie.dangerfield@freepress.mb.ca

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