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Union claims postal service delays on Westwood Plateau
Postal workers say Canada Post failed to meet its responsibilities and delayed mail to 900 homes on Westwood Plateau because it couldn't cope with staffing shortages.
Cindy McDonnell, a representative for the Pacific Region of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said mail wasn't delivered to Plateau Boulevard, Chartwell Green, Chartwell Lane, Caulfield Ridge, Hampton Drive and other streets for five days, and only intermittently thereafter because of staffing shortages.
The union says mail was allowed to pile up between Aug. 30 and Sept. 5 while a worker was off sick and there weren't enough on-call relief workers to fill in; as well, it says an opportunity to sub in someone from another bargaining unit was not allowed.
McDonnell said the delivery is only now starting to catch up.
"The Canadian public relies on us to ensure that they receive their mail in a timely fashion and we need to make every reasonable attempt to ensure that this mail gets delivered," McDonnell told The Tri-City News, adding that Canada Post's reputation is damaged when problems such as this occur.
But Canada Post says there was only a small delay because delivery still took place on alternate days when a postal worker was sick; it also said residents of those streets received their flyers and parcels in a timely fashion.
Canada Post spokesperson Eugene Knapic said unexpected absences at the Port Coquitlam office "challenged our resources" but only one route was affected.
"The situation last week was an anomaly and I can confirm that we have returned to normal delivery this week," Knapic stated in an email.
Coquitlam's mayor says this is not the first time Canada Post has not met the standards expected in the delivery of mail to Westwood Plateau, which, like newer neighbourhoods across the country, has community mailboxes, not house-to-house delivery.
"Canada Post has to get it together," Richard Stewart said, "and I made it clear that our city expects them to find a solution so the suburbs get reliable mail like everybody else."
He said Westwood Plateau has long suffered from delivery problems, something that needs to be addressed.