Residents on Hill Street in the Norwood neighbourhood of Winnipeg have the blues: they havent received any mail for a week.
Jim Llewellyn said he normally receives something daily, even bills or advertising flyers, but his mailbox has been empty for days.
Ive checked with neighbours, and they say theyve had nothing this week either, he said Friday.
Usually, we get our mail between 1:30 to 2 (p.m.) in the summer time, but not this winter. Since Christmas, it has been hit and miss. Sometimes, Ive seen it as late at 7:30 p.m. You dont know when it is going to come.
Llewellyn, himself a retired postal carrier who delivered mail through all weather conditions for more than two decades, said even if there are people off sick with COVID-19 the mail should still come.
I think it means theyre not covering the walks of others. When a guy needed to get off early, they would ask if we could take a street or two, and we would. I dont know what is happening now.
Phil Legault, a Canada Post spokesman, said an internal check reported the street should have received mail.
Residents may have missed a day or two, but not a week, said Legault. If this isnt the case for some residents, we asked them to contact customer service so we can look into specific reasons.
Legault said local deliveries have been tough lately thanks to both pandemic-related absenteeism and snowstorms.
This time of year, weather can pose a challenge, and weve seen that recently, which is why we issue service alerts, he said. Our employees can also be slowed by snowy or ice sidewalks, walks and stairs as they try to deliver safely.
In addition, we have been experiencing staffing issues across the country… due to the impact of Omicron (variant of the novel coronavirus).
However, Matthew Aitken, president of the local chapter of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said mail might have been missed on the street because it and the area are well-known by postal staff.
The route Hill Street is on is particularly arduous and therefore less likely to be chosen by letter carriers who have volunteered to do some overtime delivery, said Aitken. The union attempts to work with the employer to make all routes relatively equal in workload this doesnt always happen.
When our ranks are so depleted due to sickness, and not all mail goes out for delivery in a day, dollars to donuts the stuff that doesnt get delivered is going to be on a route with a reputation for being long or otherwise challenging.
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.