Frustrated by directive

Letter writer expresses feelings of her union (Canadian Union of Postal Workers)local in regard to restructuring of delivery routes

Two months ago the Castlegar Post Office had a “restructure” of all delivery routes, resulting in the elimination of one full time letter carrier route. Despite the fact that the local manager recently advised us that the volumes of mail are higher now than a year ago, we have fewer people to deliver the mail and this is causing some serious problems. Especially during this time of year with shorter days, onset of winter and the approach of high volume Christmas mail.

In order to try and get this larger delivery done during regular hours, we have been told by the employer that we are to take shortcuts wherever we can and to not waste time talking to each other or our customers because that delays our delivery.

The clerks and carriers have never considered it to be a waste of our time to talk to our customers. In fact, seeing our regular customers and checking in on elderly members of the community on a regular basis is the most enjoyable part of our job. Until now we have always been told not to take shortcuts but now it seems that the new restructure is unworkable without them.

So, if you see us delivering mail in the dark, please keep your porch lights on to help us avoid injuring ourselves on unseen obstacles. If you see us rushing past and not stopping to talk or answer your questions it is because we could be subject to discipline. If you get mail at 7 p.m., please do not get angry with us because on one hand we are told we have to stay out until the mail is all delivered and on the other we are chastised if it requires us to deliver later in the day because of volumes and the larger routes.

The workers at the Castlegar Post Office want you to know that you are not just numbers or percentage of coverage equations to us; you are our valued customers and we do not agree with the reductions of service we are now forced to provide. We hope you will take a moment to let customer service know your concerns by calling 1-866-607-6301, or call our MP Alex Atamanenko and let him know your thoughts so he can continue his quest to stop erosion of service in rural communities. Thank you for your support.


Cindy McCallum Miller, Vice President

Castlegar Local CUPW