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Union warned post office

Lineups are something beyond our control

Jorge Barrera
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 07/01) - Lack of management foresight is responsible for hour-long queues at the post office, says the president of the local chapter of Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

"The union apologizes for the inconvenience but it's something beyond our control," said Dale Bouchard.

Canada Post is stuck servicing the entire city from its Franklin Avenue outlet after three retail outlets shut down at the end of November -- just before the Christmas rush.

Last spring, Reddi Mart, Shell and Weaver and Devore's refused to accept new conditions imposed by Canada Post and did not renew their leases. Negotiations with new outlets collapsed at the same time.

Bouchard said the union met with management three weeks ago to work out a plan for the rush, but failed to agree on overtime.

"They wanted to extend our lunch break," she said. "We also wanted to be open on Saturday."

Management announced extended hours on Tuesday. But Bouchard said the 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. scheduled will end Monday as management anticipates lineups will disappear by then.

Yesterday, Canada Post's area manager, Dave Craig, said negotiations for new retail outlets at Shopper's Drug Mart and the Co-op "just didn't work out" in time for the rush.

He also apologized for the inconvenience. "We're sorry this has happened and we're trying our best to get the mail out," said Craig. "We still have plans to open (new outlets) in the new year."