Cheques in the mail, province says, before potential postal disruption

The Manitoba government is stuffing mailboxes in advance of a potential postal strike or lockout.

Manitoba government will establish disruption centres in case mail carriers walk off the job

Customers who pay their cheques by mail will have to foot the bill another way in the event of a strike, according to a few public utilities. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

The Manitoba government is stuffing mailboxes in advance of a potential postal strike or lockout.

To get ahead of the possible disruption effective Sept. 26, the province is mailing October's employment and income assistance cheques early to prevent delays.

Due dates will remain the same for provincial tax returns, however. Taxpayers are encouraged to log onto TAXcess to file, pay and view business tax accounts, a provincial media release said.

Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers will be in a legal strike position on Sept. 26, after mail carriers voted to strike if contract talks with Canada Post fall through. The Crown corporation may also choose to lockout its employees.

Wages and working conditions are major issues, the union said.

If a disruption occurs, the Manitoba government will arrange for government cheques and other important mail to be picked up. 

The province usually mails 50,000 cheques every month.

No reprieve for customers

Manitoba Hydro says customers who rely on mail will still have bills to pay. The easiest approach is to pay your bills online through your financial institution, spokesperson Bruce Owen said.

Manitoba Public Insurance has no plans yet. A team is evaluating how to serve customers in case of a service disruption, spokesperson Brian Smiley said.

Individuals with questions about the provincial government plan can visit www.manitoba.ca/notice or call the toll free number 1-866-626-4862.