A safety issue arose at the Kenmount Road Canada Post office in St. John's Tuesday after a report was made of a possible propane leak.
Craig Dyer, representative for Local 126 of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said he arrived at the sorting plant around 4:00 p.m., to find the loading doors wide open in -20 C.
Dyer said the eight workers on shift had been informed about the potential leak, but were told they had to keep working. Fire officials arrived about 45 minutes after the potential leak was detected.
"I walked into Pandora's box," said Dyer.
"It was probably about 10 to 15 minutes into the announcement that there was a potential leak and everybody was working away. The corporation was more interested in sending a flight out and jeopardizing the health and safety of our clerks than actually addressing the issue."
Dyer said the employees were working about 100 to 150 feet from where the propane tanks are located. A number of tanks are used to heat the corner dock area of the facility.
"It took a long, badgering amount of time to get the workers removed from the area," said Dyer," It was only because the union got involved that we actually had a plan put in place."
Fire officials arrived about 45 minutes after the potential leak was detected.
Meanwhile Canada Post spokesperson John Caines said there was no leak.
In an email to CBC News, Caines said when the odour was noticed, facility management and the fire department were contacted to review the situation. Fire officials determined there was no danger and gave the all clear.
"When propane tanks get low, they emit an odour as a signal they're running low, and that is what happened at the post office," said Caines. "The tanks were filled and the odour went away."
Caines added that as a precaution, Canada Post cleared the immediate area and stopped carriers from entering the building until it was determined there was no danger.