Some residents of rural P.E.I. are missing out on daily mail service because there is a shortage of backup drivers.
If the regular driver for the routes in the area surrounding Charlottetown is sick or on scheduled vacation there is not always someone available to fill in. Canada Post driver Eric Gauthier said the Crown corporation does not have enough drivers on call.
"There's about 800 homes and businesses that will not be getting their mail today," Gauthier told CBC News Tuesday, because he was on vacation that day.
"Canada Post never staffed pro-actively. They knew this was going to happen, they knew this was coming up. People are on vacation, people do get sick. More than one person happens to be off at once."
There used to be three drivers available on-call in the Charlottetown area, said Gauthier, and now there's only one.
Canada Post said it's in the process of hiring two more backup drivers, and said it's staggering the workload so no route misses out on delivery for two consecutive days.
"In the event that we do have an absenteeism, we in fact offer overtime to the current drivers," said Canada Post spokesperson John Caines.
"They can take the routes out if they wish. If not, we'll make sure that that route that is missed on one day will be definitely delivered the next."
Gauthier said drivers are tired of covering extra routes and Canada Post needs to hire more relief drivers.
Canada Post can't or won't say how many days routes have been missed.
Canada Post does pay a premium for time drivers spend on extra routes if they work more than 40 hours per week. This story previously reported the corporation did not.Oct 02, 2013 11:37 AM AT