Canadian Postal Service Still Recovering From Canada Post Strike

Canada Post hopes to have the backlog of mail cleared by the end of the week.

Canada Post says it expects to have a backlog of mail in its major centres caused by the recent lockout of employees cleared by the end of the week.

John Caines, a spokesman for the Crown corporation, told the system dealt with a record volume of 70 million pieces over the weekend — about three times the normal volume — in a drive to deal with the backlog.

Last week, Canada Post stopped collecting letters from large circulation corporate clients in an effort to slow the influx of mail into their already strained system.

Caines again appealed to customers for patience as Canada Post works through the backlog. He said the volume in centres like Montreal and Toronto is still "very, very heavy."

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"Our major plants still very full," Caines said Tuesday. "All of the plants have an excess, but we hope to have it cleared out by the end of the week."

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has accused Canada Post of refusing to pay its workers the overtime needed to speed up the system.

Caines said carriers are authorized for one hour of overtime at the beginning of their shifts to give them more time for sorting, as well as some en-route overtime as needed. Casual workers have also been brought in to work in major centres, he added.

Postal workers across the country were locked out June 14, after 12 days of rotating strikes.

Canada Post workers were legislated back to work by the federal government after its bill imposing a new contract on them received royal assent on June 26.

The government said it was necessary to get Canada Post working again to protect the country's recovering economy. The Opposition NDP led a lengthy filibuster, arguing the bill trampled the postal workers' right to collective bargaining.

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