An extended Canada Post strike to have major impact on BC small businesses

Dan Mountain / November 19, 2018

Black and red mail box

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has rejected Canada Post’s proposal of delaying the rotating strikes until after the holidays.

Canada Post made an offer to CUPW on Monday morning which would give a one thousand dollar bonus to each employee if there was no more strike activity until January, but CUPW declined the offer.

The rotating strikes will continue through the holidays. From Black Friday shopping to parcels moving from city to city to get Christmas gifts to distant relatives, the next month will most definitely be the busiest time of the year for Canada Post.

This leaves the question of what an extended rotating strike would mean for BC’s small businesses.

Richard Truscott – Vice President of the Canadian Foundation of Independent Business for BC and Alberta said that an extended Canada Post strike will greatly hurt thousands of BC independent businesses.

He said that two thirds of the members of CFIB in BC use Canada Post to send more than twenty pieces of mail per month, and that more than half of their member use Canada Post to pay their bills via cheque. He said that financial transactions coming in on time are the back-bone of a small business, and that it disrupts their ability to pay their workers.

There are roughly 10,000 businesses signed up as a CFIB member in BC, so around 5000 small businesses are currently depending on Canada Post to pay for their financial transactions. He said that those businesses need to pay for their orders on time or face late fees, fines or late product shipments. He said an extended Canada Post strike would be highly disruptive to the day-to-day operations of small businesses.

“This is the life-load of any business – are the financial transactions that go on and people don’t get paid unless things go according to plan. For small business, even rotating strikes can be a major disruption.” – Richard Truscott, Vice President of CFIB BC/Alberta

Letters piling up

It’s the busiest time of the year

Canada Post strike statistics at a glance

(Graham Cox / BCIT News)

Truscott said that even without the Canada Post rotating strike, this time of year sees delays for small businesses waiting for cheques to be delivered. He said that the strike will just add even more delays to small businesses that need to pay their bills and receive payments on time, and that they’ll just be more items lost in the thousands of parcels waiting to be delivered

With files from Graham Cox