Canada Post set to deliver evening mail
Published Tuesday, February 14, 2012 5:35PM EST
Canada Post is preparing to deliver evening mail in the Montreal area, and some carriers aren't pleased with the move.
Mail is already being delivered later in the evening – sometimes as late as 8 p.m. – in Laval, Pierrefonds and St-Laurent, and is set to start in Pointe-Claire next week.
Canada Post claims the shift change is to adapt to the new reality of the mail business; people are receiving fewer letters, but more packages.
"We have to do things differently," said Canada Post spokesperson Genevieve Latour. "There is a 16 per cent decline in letter mail in the past four years, (but) more parcels. People buy stuff online, so we have to adapt."
Usually one mail carrier brings the letters during the day and the packages are delivered later on by someone else. Now, one letter carrier will deliver both, which Canada Post said is more about improving service than saving money.
Delivery shifts will start later, with mail arriving as late as 8 p.m. Within two years, the entire Montreal area could be receiving mail in the evening.
Mail carrier Lise Senechal said she worries about the impending changes.
"All in all, it's not a very good situation," she said. "People are going to be doing a lot of overtime and it's going to creating a lot of stress on the home front, in many ways."
Safety concerns are also an issue, said Senechal.
"If you don't have light, you can't see where you're delivering. In the winter, you have ice. It's dangerous," she said.
Canada Post said to ensure its letters carriers are safe, they'll provide employees with headlamps and traction grips for their boots.
Safety is just one concern for letter carriers, however. Alain Duguay of the Letter Carriers' Union said Post Canada employees also worry about cutting jobs, pointing to the situation in Laval.
"They cut 25 jobs out of 107, so that's a lot of jobs for one place," he said.
Canada Post says it is doing its best to cope with a 40-million-letter backlog in the wake of the recent labour disruption.