This is what it's like working for Canada Post right now
Canada Post is busier than ever but postal workers are frustrated with the lack of recognition.
"It's embarrassing that they [don't] care about us. We put our lives in danger and [at] risk and they don't care. We are [on] the frontline as well," said an anonymous Toronto postman, referencing how postal workers didn't get the $4 an hour hazard pay raise the government offered other frontline workers.
"We are just shocked and frustrated and [this] kind of situation it's like Christmas time. The supervisors put pressure on us to deliver as long as we can. It's really hard to handle it. We're not machines. We're normal humans and we're doing the best we can. We deserve better."
On top of the added pressure to deliver the surplus of parcels, there's also an increase in fear about catching COVID-19 from a parcel or while out delivering mail.
"[We're] worried. Everyday we're gambling. What is the process of checking of that package? We're delivering post from China, Europe, the U.S.. Is there any guarantee it's not infected? No. There's no guarantee," he said.
And while Canada Post has implemented safety precautions like social distancing, for the postman Freshdaily spoke with, the measures hardly seem sufficient.
"They just gave us hand sanitizer. Is that enough? Of course not! I'm scared. I have a family. I have to take care of them," he said.
On May 1, 2nd National Vice President of Canadian Union Postal Workers (CUPW), Dave Bleakney, also highlighted the lack of safety measures in a statement.
"We require more than plastic sheeting, but rather, a contract and some decent protective equipment including masks," Bleakney said.
On top of that the Toronto postman told Freshdaily he has asthma, which puts him more at risk. He added that this is especially problematic when he has to go into buildings to deliver parcels and he doesn't feel like he can refuse to deliver to certain places to protect himself.
"If you reject delivering to a certain building or area you get in trouble from management," he said.
And since Canada Post isn't providing masks, he's had to buy his own, which cost him between $10 - $15 per mask due to shortages.
But despite everything, he and many other postal workers are still showing up to work, they just wish people understood the sacrifices they're making.
"We are proud of the work we do, and we understand its value, but we cannot deny the fear we are all facing. There is danger for our loved ones, our communities and ourselves," said CUPW National President Jan Simpson.
"We know this is our responsibility to serve people during this time but [the supervisors and government] don't know what's going on in the streets," he said.
This lack of understanding, appreciation and support from his superiors as well as the government and community has left him at a loss.
"[It] makes us angry and sad and hopeless about the future," he said.
Meanwhile, CUPW continues to fight for better conditions for the workers.
"We must continue to demand governments and employers move towards social and ecological sustainability, where all are considered and cared for fairly– a way of living collectively where resources are shared in an equitable, peaceful and sustainable way," wrote Simpson in a statement on Friday.
"We all have a right to our dignity, our health and our safety."
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