Small businesses keeping a close eye on Canada Post strike in Windsor-Essex

Slowed delivery because of rotating strikes is a concern for business owners.

Windsor-Essex businesses hope for a solution ahead of the Christmas holiday rush

Business owners in the region are following the rotating strikes by Canada Post employees closely. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Small business owners in Windsor-Essex are paying close attention to rotating strikes by unionized Canada Post employees as the holiday season approaches. 

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has been going on strike for 24-hour stints across the country as they negotiate a new deal with Canada Post.

Kathryn Pasquach runs a small business in Windsor and said she held off purchasing supplies when there was a threat of a work stoppage. 

"I've definitely been worried about it," said Pasquach, who runs Culture Shock Jewlery. 

Support for striking workers

Windsor was the first community to be hit by the rotating strikes on Oct. 22.

"Using other mail carriers is always an option but the bottom line is that customers don't like to pay high prices for shipping," said Pasquatch, who has decided to stick with Canada Post. 

Culture Shock Jewellery owner Kat Pasquach says she supports the workers on strike. (CBC Windsor)

She said despite her concerns about the potential impact to her business, she thinks "it's important to support the union and the striking workers."

Holiday season rush

Michelle Lettner runs Tagged It Paper Co., an online-only, handcrafted business based in Essex.

She agreed that turning to other shipping companies would increase costs, which could drive customers away from her business. 

"Canada Post is definitely more in line with what I can afford and what my customers are willing to pay for shipping," she said. 

Lettner would like to see the two sides come to an agreement soon, as the holiday season nears.

"It would be good for everybody," said Lettner.

Not affected — yet

The owner of BB Branded in Windsor said he hasn't seen an impact on his online platform yet but believes it could force him to switch carriers in the future.

"It is something in the back of my head but hopefully they'll resolve it before it gets worse," said Imad Al-Saddy.

Al-Saddy said he's been able to ship packages worry-free and drop off items at the nearby Canada Post. 

"I've never seen them closed or anything, so it's been business as usual," he said. 

"What could happen? Christmas is coming, hopefully it doesn't drag on too long."