Edmonton postal workers protest over switch to super-boxes

Postal workers held a protest this morning outside the Whitemud depot in the city’s south end.

Canada Post to stop door-to-door mail delivery to 30,000 Edmonton households today

Sherwood Park switched to super-boxes a month ago, but letter carrier Dan Murri says there transition has been anything but smooth. (CBC)

Postal workers held a small protest this morning outside the Whitemud depot in the city's south end.

Starting today, Canada Post will stop door-to-door mail delivery to 30,000 Edmonton households. Those people will now have to pick up their mail from neighbourhood super-boxes.

It's part of a nationwide transition to switch to community mailboxes.

Postal worker Dan Murri, who delivers mail in Sherwood Park, was at the protest and said letter carriers have had to work extra long days during the switch to super-boxes.

Sherwood Park made the change a month ago but there are still problems.

"Management tried to work with the carriers as much as possible, but it's still a problem in Sherwood Park," he said.

"I've been with Canada Post for 15 years. I've seen its ups and its downs, and by far this is the biggest change and impact that we've seen so far. It just seems like it's impossible. It cannot be done in eight hours."

John Hamilton, a spokesman for Canada Post, said he's confident the transition will be smooth.

"What we've done is put out a letter to anyone whose boxes aren't going to be ready come Monday, to say that we're busy out converting the boxes.

"As soon as your box is ready and it's been quality checked, we'll be delivering it the next day. However, in the meantime, they'll continue to have door-to-door delivery."

But Larry Dion, local president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said he expects problems.
But Larry Dion, local president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said he expects problems with the switch to super-boxes. (CBC)

"I don't believe anything Canada Post tells us, or the public, in relation to that, because it wasn't smooth. It's hard on the workers and hard on the public.

"Let's face it, you don't raise the price of something and cut services and expect people to like it."

Outside Ken Pudetz's house, a pile of dirt sits where a neighbourhood mailbox is expected to be built.

He's 77 years old and doesn't want the box next to his yard. On Sunday, about 15 people joined him in a protest.

"No one wants to buy a house with this thing in front of their property," he said, "because of the noise, the pollution."

Not everyone is upset about the change.

Mike Martin said he welcomes the new boxes.

"I think it's a great idea. I just have to walk across the road and in a couple of minutes I'll get my mail. I think it's the best thing there ever was. The days of delivering mail are over."


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