British Columbia

Canada Post blames late Vancouver mail delivery on rookie carriers

Up to 5,000 Vancouver addresses had their Friday mail delivery postponed until Sunday.

Union disputes claim, says Canada Post chose not to staff some routes on Friday the 13th

As many as 5,000 homes in the V5Y, V5Z, V5T and V5V postal code areas of Vancouver had to wait until Sunday to receive their Friday mail. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Canada Post claims rookie letter carries, who were unable to finish their routes Friday, caused some Vancouver addresses to get their mail on Sunday instead, two days late.

"We have enough people to deliver the mail but some of those people are new and weren't able to complete delivering all their mail on their route," said Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton.

"We put a focus on timely delivery of the mail so we asked on Friday if anyone minded coming in on Sunday."

But the Canadian Union of Postal Workers disputes the corporation's claim slow letter carriers were to blame for as many as 5,000 Vancouver homes missing their end-of-week delivery.

Jennifer Savage, CUPW's Vancouver president, says 16 routes or "letter carrier walks" were left unstaffed by Canada Post Friday.

"Having brand new carriers is an everyday occurrence, not a Friday the 13th occurrence," Savage told CBC.

"On any given day there will be a rookie that won't be able to their complete their job duties and if they have to have assistance and have somebody else take a section, then that's what they do."

Savage says chronic under-staffing of letter carrier positions is the real reason behind delivery delays.  

"The non-staffing of positions has been going on for a few years," she said. "At one point there were 90 vacancies in the city. There's now over 60."

Hamilton disagrees that the vacancies are a problem, and insists Canada Post has enough staff to do the work.

"What they're saying is that a number of routes don't have a full time letter carrier on them," he said.

"To the average Canadian, wondering if they're going to get their mail, or do we have enough people to deliver their mail?: Absolutely." 

With files from Belle Puri

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