The “new” Publisac angers postal workers

The « new » Publisac that TC Transcontinental wants to have delivered by Canada Post arouses the anger of frontline postal workers who are ill-equipped to do this job.

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No question of delivering the Publisac under the conditions dictated by Canada Post, says the postal union. He will file a grievance next Monday if he has to send his employees “to the front” when they are ill-equipped to do the job.

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The trick of TC Transcontinental, which aims to use Canada Post to circumvent the regulations and continue to deliver its Publisac in Montreal, will not pass like a letter in the mail if we trust the union of postal workers (STTP) .

“Next Monday, delivery will begin at the Snowdon and Chabanel facilities. These two post offices will be the “guinea pigs” of the experience! We would not want there to be any unfortunate events and that is why we are asking for the postponement so that everything is put in place before starting, ”said Yannick Scott, CUPW spokesperson.

Work overload and danger

The new Publisac is different from the old “plastic bag”. It can weigh up to 200 grams, measures 11 inches by 12 inches and holds up to 8 flyers from grocery stores or pharmacies.

With this weight and these dimensions, a postman’s bag will be able to contain a maximum of 79 flyers, without even a single letter. Therefore, the employee will have to make several round trips to his truck to refuel.

“Unfortunately, some always push beyond the suggested weight limit and will overload their bag to make fewer round trips, explains Yannick Scott. At the moment, the weather is nice, but this winter with the snowy streets of Montreal, the badly cleared sidewalks or the ice, they will put their safety at stake.

Productivity may also take a hit. Mail delivery will inevitably take longer, and will result in a lot of overtime to be paid for by Canada Post.

Relay boxes

Consequently, the union requires Canada Post to identify places to drop off quantities of flyers (for example in apartment buildings or in certain businesses), in order to allow letter carriers to make continuous deliveries. .

In places where this is impossible, Canada Post will have to install more relay boxes (those green or gray metal boxes that have gradually disappeared over time). The union also wants to increase the number of working hours for postmen-assistants in the facilities, and above all, to postpone the October 17 introduction date.

“The employer’s position is not only dismissive, but goes against your health and safety. Instead of putting the maximum, it is going slowly and is in the process of setting up an announced disaster, ”said Alain Robitaille, president of the Montreal section of CUPW, last Thursday in a video intended for letter carriers.

Canada Post responds that as the national postal service provider, “the company and its staff are responsible for delivering all mail that is properly prepared and paid for, including direct mail. This is part of our long-standing mandate and ensures that we don’t choose what mail is delivered,” says spokesperson Phil Rogers.

Contacted by The newspaperTC Transcontinental says it has no comment to make on the subject.

Prohibited in Mirabel

In April, the City of Montreal announced that the Publisac can only be distributed to those who request it, starting in May 2023. But since it is a Crown corporation, Canada Post is not subject to to municipal regulations and is therefore entitled to deliver the Publisac from TC Transcontinental.

However, several municipalities wish to follow the direction taken by the City of Montreal, including Laval, but are waiting to see how
the situation will change.

In October 2019, the City of Mirabel became the first city in Quebec to ban the automatic distribution of Publisac, which is now distributed only to citizens who request it.

Canada Post in the red

Canada Post seeks by all means to increase its revenues, hence its interest in distributing the Publisac.

The state-owned company posted a pre-tax loss of $160 million in the second quarter of 2022 as parcel volumes declined from high levels a year earlier.

Canada Post had lost $151 million before tax in the same quarter last year.

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