Canada Post Shuts Down over Strikes

Full lockout impacts domestic, U.S. and international shipments.

by staff writer
- Jun 17, 2011

Canada Post has shut down operations across the country after 12 days of rotating strikes by members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and no resolution in sight, according to parties on both sides of the dispute.

The lockout idles 48,000 workers and brings mail delivery to a standstill, impacting domestic, U.S. and international shipments, as well as shipments into Canada from foreign postal carriers. Some rural areas were expected to continue delivery for a few more days.

eBay Canada is asking sellers to work with their buyers to find alternative shipping options and modify current listings to offer courier services like UPS, FedEx and Purolator. It is also adding site messaging to inform buyers about the postal shut down.

"We are deploying targeted messaging in purchase flows to alert buyers to the situation, and we've also implemented a message in feedback flows to remind buyers that shipping delays due to labor disputes are not within a seller's control," eBay notes on the announcement board.

We believe that a lockout is the best way to bring a timely resolution to this impasse

Forcing the issue

Canada Post officials initially said the rotating strikes would not cause significant disruption. However, in a released statement, the company says it was forced to shut down because rotating strikes "had a significant impact on the short-term revenue of the business."

Following strikes this week in Montreal and Toronto, estimated revenue losses approached $100 million. Allowing the strikes to continue would put too much financial strain on the postal system and become a burden to taxpayers, the company reasons.

"We believe that a lockout is the best way to bring a timely resolution to this impasse and force the union to seriously consider proposals that address the declining mail volumes and the C$3.2 billion pension deficit," a Canada Post release states.

'Still far apart'

Postal workers began striking June 2 over several issues, including new-employee pay and benefits, and work conditions.

"It is clear that the parties are still far apart because of [Canada Post's] demands for concessions and their refusal to address the proposals of the union on issues such as health and safety, staffing and service expansion," says Denis Lemelin, the union's national president and chief negotiator, in a statement released following a meeting on Thursday with Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government is planning to introduce back-to-work legislation to restore mail delivery. Since the House of Commons is closed on Friday, the legislation would likely not be debated until Monday, according to news reports.

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

Other Entries by this Author

Follow Us