Canada Post lockout could harm small business owners

A 72-hour notice has been given to workers and a lockout is pending. Small business owners in Saskatchewan are already feeling the effects.

The 72-hour notice comes after unsuccessful negotiations between workers and union

As the Canada Post lockout looms, small business are facing the consequences. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Post)

Snail mail might be a novelty to some, but for small business owners it can be crucial to their success.

"Even the threat of the lockout has been very, very disruptive to a small business like ours," said Lisa Mumm, owner of Mumm's Sprouting Seeds.

The business has been relying on Canada Post for more than 30 years to send it's organic seeds across the country and around the world. 

It sends out around 800 parcels a month, and the uncertainty of what will happen has made running the small business much more difficult.

"Many business owners not only rely on the postal service to deliver goods to customers, but then they also send and receive payment," said Marilyn Braun-Pollon.

Braun-Pollon, with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said 98 per cent of the federation's Saskatchewan members use Canada Post.

As Mumm explained, they have been using Canada Post for its reliability and quality. Other businesses rely on the mail for payment, as well as delivering their goods. 

Since this is not the first time a lockout has been proposed, Braun-Pollon suggested potentially using E-Transfers as an alternative.

"Using electronic banking options, business to business transaction is unaffordable. In some businesses with some banks it costs up to $25 a transaction," said Braun-Pollon.

After unsuccessful negotiations between the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and Canada Post a 72-hour lockout notice was issued across Canada.

However, at this time a lockout is not certain.