Assaults on letter carriers has union outraged
The second attack on a Surrey, B.C., letter carrier in two days has the postal workers' union demanding to know what Canada Post is doing about the situation.
Shortly after noon on Tuesday, a veteran letter carrier was delivering her mail when she said she was accosted by one or possibly two people.
"They threatened her with pepper spray and took her corporate keys and her portable data terminal," said Stephen Gale, of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
The keys provide access to the boxes where mail is dropped for letter carriers to pick up.
Monday’s victim was in a mail truck stopped outside a house.
"He sort of turned in his seat to get the parcel and his door was open and someone came up, grabbed him, basically hauled him right out of the truck, jumped in the truck and took off," Gale said.
While trying to stop the truck, the worker's arm became tangled in the side view mirror. The vehicle was later recovered and some of the mail was found at another location.
It’s not known if the two cases are connected, but letter carriers are once again upset and nervous.
Attacks in 2010
Two years ago, they were also the target of a series of attacks and robberies.
One particularly violent incident occurred outside a Whalley apartment block in December 2010 when a letter carrier was struck in the head twice with a blunt object.
He managed to stumble to the front door and the building manager called for help. The worker had to be sent to hospital.
Union leaders are angry with Canada Post.
"The letter carriers were not told about what happened yesterday so they went out there today unaware that we'd had a situation yesterday and then what happens today," said Gale.
Canada Post did not directly respond to Gale’s statement, but said postal workers should follow guidelines when facing a threatening situation.
"For our employees, safety is first, of themselves is first and foremost," said spokeswoman Anick Losier. "What we say is, you comply if you feel you are threatened, you comply, you immediately call 911 and then you call your supervisor so we can make arrangements."
With files from the CBC's Belle Puri