Postal workers union bracing for restructuring at Tecumseh depot
The union representing postal workers says high package volumes and half the staff is wearing workers thin. (CTV Windsor/Rich Garton)
Restructuring at the Tecumseh letter carrier depot later this month has the postal workers union preparing for the worst.
Canadian Union of Postal Workers local president Phil Lyons says in spite of record growth in parcels year-over-year, the Tecumseh depot has lost approximately 55 per cent of its staff to restructures over the last decade.
Lyons says the cuts have been in large part due to cost cutting measures implemented by the previous Conservative government, mechanization of hand-sorted mail and conversion of door-to-door delivery to community mailboxes.
Lyons says these changes have affected the public service and deteriorated working conditions.
“We don’t know whether it’s because of the size of the depot or part of some kind of social experiment by Canada Post, but it undermines the municipality and takes a severe toll on the workers," says Lyons.
“Overtime on the 13 remaining letter carrier routes in the depot averages 22 to 25 hours per day after all the cuts. Employees are struggling to maintain work-life balance and have made sacrifices and lifestyle changes to cope with the overburdening.”
In response, Canada Post reps say it acknowledges that restructuring will take place across the country, and Tecumseh will see some changes on July 16. Jon Hamilton of Canada Post says the process involves consultation with the union and incorporates feedback from employees over time.
"In Tecumseh, a lot of what we are doing is to alleviate concerns raised by employees and the local union regarding routes, overtime," Hamilton says. “The process is to ensure we have the proper routes and resources in place to deliver to Canadians.”
Hamilton tells CTV Windsor the Tecumseh depot will be moving to two waves which means start times will change to improve the local operations and reduce congestion within the facility, especially at the loading dock.
Hamilton also assures there will be no staffing reductions.
“In fact, we will be adding two part-time positions at the facility – a part-time letter carrier and part-time clerk,” Hamilton notes. “That’s in addition to a part-time letter carrier assistant that was added last fall.”
He adds any reductions in positions would have occurred prior to 2015 due to motorization and other changes.
CUPW officials ask residents to voice any concerns regarding service to their elected representatives who advocate for the wellbeing of the Town of Tecumseh.
The union is still urging Canada Post to prioritize expanded and improved services over cuts, not only in Tecumseh but from coast to coast to coast.