Canadian Union of Postal Workers concerned about coming changes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is concerned about changes being made by Canada Post in the country’s Atlantic region.

The Crown corporation announced it will start test-sorting Charlottetown, P.E.I. mail in Halifax this May, adding the move would reduce the amount of work for clerks at the depot and postal carriers in the Prince Edward Island capital.

Eugene Knapik, Canada Post media relations, said no permanent changes will be made until October, adding “no employees will lose their jobs;” however, the Crown corporation warned the CUPW upwards of three letter carriers – out of a total of 20 delivering in Charlottetown – may no longer be needed.

Pearl Gillis-Palmer, head of the Charlottetown local, said Canada Post won’t say how the decision will affect clerk staff.

“The only thing that we have so far, is that it looks like there, the letter carriers, their positions will be deleted,” she told CBC News on March 23. “And then, down the road, it’s going to affect clerks because they don’t need them to sort the mail if it’s coming already pre-sorted and sequenced for each route.”

In an email statement to CBC News, Knapik said if there are changes, any affected employees would be offered other work.

“We’re going to do a sequencing exercise for a few weeks starting in May in order to gather information on how much of the mail our machines can sequence … We will use this information to make changes to our employees’ itineraries in October,” said Knapik. “No employees will lose their jobs. Our customers will not see any significant change in their mail service. Any reduction in the number of positions required will take place through attrition.”

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