canada post covid

Canada Post has seen a surge in deliveries but many of its employees feel unsafe

As Canada is thrown into the throngs of a global health pandemic, precautions to protect frontline workers are being mobilized, but for Canada Post employees, many are saying it's not enough.

The Federal government has been working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by introducing social distancing measures and while many provinces have urged non-essential services to shut down, Canada Post remains open, albeit with reduced hours and a change to delivery procedures.

Canada Post, a crown corporation, is considered an essential service by the province of Ontario, at least, and will still be in operation during the state of emergency that's in effect. 

Yet with the country on lock down and many people working from home while in self-isolation, Canada Post has been working through an increase in deliveries as more people order essential supplies and shop online.

Many people have spoken out on Twitter about what the government is doing to address this issue, what the measures being taken to protect workers are, and if they should be working at all.

So far, measures like 'knock, drop and go' eliminate the need for people to sign for packages and reduce the risk of physical contact for field couriers. 

But with a huge surge in deliveries, the safety of mailroom workers who might be in close proximity to each other remains a question.

"We’ve eliminated the need for customers to sign for parcels at the door to minimize personal contact. If you have a parcel or mail to pick up at a post office, we ask you to practise social distancing if there are other customers waiting to pick up items," a press release from March 19 reads.

Canada Post also said it will be reducing hours of operation, opening one hour later and closing one hour earlier, and is no longer guaranteeing delivery times.

"We have suspended normal delivery guarantees for our parcel service. Delivering safely without overburdening our people in these extraordinary circumstances may take a little more time."

Like many supermarkets across the country, it's also offering priority hours for seniors and vulnerable people at the start of each day, and suspending the 15-day hold period for parcels that will not see them returned to the sender after that time.

Despite these measures, a Canada Post employee at a sorting plant in St. John's was reported yesterday to have tested postive for a presumptive case of COVID-19. The worker was sent home and the plant shut down.

Many are concerned for both public-facing and back-end employees and their safety since they cannot work from home during the pandemic.

Canada Post remains adamant that it's putting strict measures in place to encourage social distancing and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, like installing barriers for customer service workers, placing floor decals to indicate where people should lineup and asking that customers pay with cash or debit.

Meanwhile, a petition on CoWorker.org with over 8,542 signatures is calling for Canada Post to ensure the safety of its workforce.

"Canada Post employees deliver essential services, but the lack of communication and implementation of safety measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 on the work floor and to the general public is severely lacking," it reads.

It asks that Canada Post "put an immediate halt on the collation & delivery of flyers and other non-essential mail items," stagger employee start times and provide basic sanitary supplies like gloves, sanitizer spray and face masks.

Lead photo by

Open Grid Scheduler


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