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‘We’re shipping worldwide’: Canada Post strike worries Saskatoon small business owner
Published Monday, October 22, 2018 6:38PM CST
Last Updated Monday, October 22, 2018 7:14PM CST
The prospect of a Canada Post strike in Saskatoon is causing uncertainty for Andrea Gusta, the owner of Luxquisite Clothing.
“Right now, we’re shipping worldwide, so as far away as Australia, or we ship to Moose Jaw,” said Gusta, who prides herself on next-day delivery.
The women’s apparel boutique in downtown Saskatoon relies heavily on online sales, sending out roughly 60 packages in four to five shipments per week, mainly using Canada Post.
“So if there is a strike, basically we’re going to have to find a different method of shipping. Purolator or UPS and right now it’s just a bit more of a problem than dealing strictly with Canada Post,” she said.
Gusta isn’t alone. McNally Robinson Booksellers has one of its two locations in Saskatoon. A spokesperson tells CTV News they often use Canada Post to ship to smaller towns and have measures in place in case strike action occurs.
The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees has begun a series of rotating strikes.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says the 24-hour strikes began Monday at 12:01 a.m. local time in Victoria, Edmonton and Windsor, Ont., and at 1:01 a.m. in Halifax.
The union says mail will still be delivered in those cities, but will be delayed.
While postal workers are not on strike in Saskatchewan, cities here could be next.
“We are told we’ll be given three hours’ notice if our city is selected,” said Julee Sanderson, president of the CUPW Prairie Region.
The uncertainty for business owners in Saskatoon will loom until an agreement between both sides is reached.
The workers’ union wants job security, increased wages, and a change to overtime rules.
“Canada Post can force overtime on letter carriers. That provision in the collective agreement has been, I would say, abused,” Sanderson said.
Canada Post says its latest offer does include wage increases, increased job security, and upgraded benefits.
Gusta says regardless of the outcome, she won’t let it affect her business.
“We’ll definitely continue to fulfill that commitment with Purolator or whoever we decide to go with,” Gusta said.