Canada Post cuts deliveries due to rotating strike

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Mail delivers in Canadian cities will be cut to three days a week because rotating strikes have slashed mail volumes by up to half, Canada Post officials said Wednesday.

Mail workers began rotating strikes last week in a contract dispute that both sides acknowledge is rooted in how the country’s postal system will survive in the era of e-mail and digital bill payments.

Canada Post, which normally delivers mail every weekday said it will also cut staffing levels at mail processing plants, but post offices will keep their current hours and rural deliveries will continue five days a week.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers launched its strike action on June 3, accusing the federal corporation of ignoring proposals that the union says would protect workers while helping Canada Post adapt to changing times.

Canada Post regularly reports an annual profit, but says it cannot afford the union’s demands as mail volumes continue to fall and as it struggles with a C$3.2 billion pension deficit. It says CUPW’s proposal would increase the top wage rate to C$26 an hour.

($1=$0.98 Canadian) (Reporting Allan Dowd; editing by Rob Wilson)