KAMLOOPS - Mail carriers will no longer be delivering mail door to door in Kamloops starting next year, according to the president of the local postal workers’ union.
Lara Plummer and others from the Kamloops local union chapter found out today, July 16, Canada Post will create banks of mailboxes for over 25,000 recipients and eliminate the current service for residents and businesses as part of a cost-saving measure.
“They haven’t said where. They usually go in the front of boulevards. That’s a lot of places that they’ll have to find in Kamloops,” she says. “A lot of people will lose their jobs over this."
Plummer says between 50 to 60 workers in Kamloops could wind up unemployed and says the cutbacks could already begin before the new mailboxes are in place, which will impact mail service.
"Mail delivery over the next year will be crappy…. Christmas time is going to be awful,” she says.
Plummer is unsure of when the new service will be fully implemented, but expects it to happen next summer. The system is already in place in northern communities including Quesnel and Williams Lake. She says it’s only a matter of time before other cities in the B.C. Interior make the same changeover.
Changes and cutbacks to hours at postal outlets in Kamloops have taken place over the last couple of years, including a cut in hours to the downtown post office.
The union president says workers in Kamloops plan to fight the change or at least make recommendations on where to put the boxes. Mail carriers plan to protest on Columbia Street tomorrow, July 17, around 3 p.m.
Two banks of community mailboxes were pried open in Brocklehurst and in Dallas earlier this week with a third failed attempt on the North Shore. Police are still investigating.
Anick Losier, a spokeswoman for Canada Post, says the agency plans to keep staff on board and keep job security as per a union promise.
"We will be reducing positions as they become vacant," she says.
Losier says residents with the following postal code digits will be affected: V1S, V2B, V2C, V2E, V2H. To transition into residential mailboxes, she says Canada Post will deliver letters updating locals on the process. Residents will be asked face-to-face and by survey about the best locations for the mailboxes.
"People are experts in their own community," she says, adding the postal service will consider moving the box if there are locations where there may be ice in the winter, or if there is a person with mobility issues living in the area.
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— This story was updated at 1:19 p.m., July 16, 2015, to include information from Canada Post.