Canada Post shortages leave Labrador City residents collecting their own letters

Canada Post says it has now hired temporary workers and the new staffing situation will allow for letters to be delivered 'roughly' four days a week. (Joe Passaretti/CBC - image credit)
Canada Post says it has now hired temporary workers and the new staffing situation will allow for letters to be delivered 'roughly' four days a week. (Joe Passaretti/CBC - image credit)
Joe Passaretti/CBC
Joe Passaretti/CBC

Staffing shortages have left some Labrador City residents to head to the town's main post office to hunt for undelivered letters, according to the National Director for the Atlantic region in the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Jeff Callaghan says it's because Canada Post waited so long to begin hiring seasonal employees, a process which usually begins in August.

"I think it was more of a lack of planning than it was not [being] able to locate workers to deliver routes in Lab City," Callaghan said.

'Poor planning'

Some of those left to pick up their own mail in the community told CBC News they had applied for those seasonal jobs with Canada Post, but never heard back

Callaghan said temporary positions are always popular, as it's a way to get in the door for a career at the post office.

"I'm not surprised that there would have been quite a number of people in Lab City would fill those applications but just didn't get an interview," he said.

"We think it was poor planning on behalf of Canada Post that they didn't undertake that interview process sooner."

However, Callaghan said there are areas across the country in which the post office is having issues recruiting, a problem he blames on low starting wages. But he said that doesn't seem to be an issue in Atlantic Canada, so it wouldn't explain the issues in Labrador.

"I'm always taken aback when I visit Lab City, particularly in the colder months, and I see people delivering mail in all kinds of really nasty weather. You know, that just goes to show you that they really love their jobs," he said.

New hires coming

Meanwhile, Canada Post said in a statement that it has now hired temporary employees, as well as a new permanent delivery agent, which Callaghan said is good news, if a bit late.

"We're happy with that," he said, "but you know, it should have happened a lot sooner. Residents of Labrador City should not have gone through those periods where they weren't getting home delivery of their mail. It's inexcusable."

Canada Post said the new staffing situation will allow for letters to be delivered "roughly" four days a week.

The corporation adds that package delivery has not been affected by the staffing issues.

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