Canadian Magazine Industry News
8 June 2011,     OTTAWA
Canada Post cuts deliveries and staff to cope with strikes
Canada Post announced Wednesday it is reducing staff levels and cutting some delivery frequencies to three days a week to cope with "a significant drop in mail volume" caused by the rotating strikes.

Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers will strike for 24 hours on Thursday in the following cities and towns:

Labrador City, Labrador
Acadie-Bathurst, New Brunswick
Summerside, P.E.I.
Ste.Therese, Quebec
St. Jerome, Quebec
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Hearst, Ontario
Brantford, Ontario
St. Thomas, Ontario
Flin Flon, Manitoba
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Whitehorse, Yukon
Vernon, B.C.

Many magazine publishers moved up mailings prior to the start of the May 25 labour disruption. Publishers have also been mailing through the strike, since most magazines are not time-sensitive enough to be affected by a delay of a few days.

But contingency plans are in place at major publishers in case of a full walk-out, with at least some of those plans focused on digital editions made available to subscribers.

Other mailers, particularly in Admail, are cancelling or postponing programs. Major utilities such as Bell are using text messaging campaigns to encourage customers to switch to e-billing.

According to the Canada Post web site, in the coming days the post office will implement the following measures:
  • Staffing levels at mail processing plants across the country will be reduced to adjust to the reduction in mail volumes at each facility.
  • Letters and Admail will be delivered three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) in mostly urban areas where delivery is performed by letter carriers.
  • Most small packages and documents will also be delivered three days a week. Every effort will be made to continue to deliver priority items five days a week.
These changes do not include all products and services at Canada Post. Many product and service offerings will not be affected by these changes, including:
  • Delivery of mail to rural mailboxes and community mailboxes will continue five days a week where service is provided by Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMCs) who operate under a separate collective agreement than urban employees.
  • Post Office operating hours and access to post office boxes will remain unchanged.
  • Pick-ups from qualified customers and mail collection at street letter boxes on major streets will continue as usual.
  • Delivery of all parcels will continue as usual
The big question many publishers are asking is when CUPW will target Toronto and major postal operations such as Gateway in Mississauga; the rotating strikes have danced around Canada's largest metropolitan area.
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