Calgary businesses worried over potential postal strike

A potential postal strike is looming if Canada Post and its workers can't come to an agreement.

Union concerned over pay parity and door-to-door delivery, work could be disrupted as early as July 2

Linda Perry, owner of Soul Food Crystals and Books, is worried about the effect a postal strike would have on her business. (Bryan Labby/CBC)

A potential postal strike is looming if Canada Post and its workers can't come to an agreement. 

The Crown corporation and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers are in the midst of a cooling off period, but a legal strike or a lockout could happen as early as July 2nd. 

At Soul Food Crystals and Books, owner Linda Perry is worried about the possibility of the looming labour trouble.

She relies on Canada Post to deliver invoices, pay bills and get her merchandise.

She said it's "certainly an inconvenience and a disruption in business, because when you don't have the stock you can't sell it, so you don't make any money either and you can't provide for your customers.

"Will they go some place else? Possibly."

Could hurt Canada Post

The Calgary Chamber of Commerce said a dispute will cost thousands of businesses time and money.

Spokesperson Scott Crockatt said any service disruption will also hurt Canada Post.

"In the long run I think this leads to less and less use of Canada Post for these critical business functions as they tend to take them online and tend to stay there," he said.

'We are customers of Canada Post too'

Suzie Moore acknowledges the risk, but the CUPW spokeswoman said there's a bigger principle at play for the union. 

She said the key issues in the dispute are wage parity between city and rural postal workers and the restoration of door-to-door mail delivery.

"The public needs to know we do have their best interests in mind," she said. "We are not only employees of Canada Post, but we are customers of Canada Post too."

It's been five years since postal workers went on strike and were subsequently locked out.

With files from Bryan Labby