The looming Canada Post strike: what you need to know

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As of July 2, Canada Post workers will be in a legal position to walk off the job, or be locked out by the Crown Corporation. For e-commerce retailers and small businesses, this potential work stoppage could cause serious issues in conducting daily business.

For e-commerce companies using the service, Canada Post’s temporary shutdown could mean increased shipping costs to cross-border clients. This may mean trouble for retailers who cannot afford to absorb the higher fees that come with shipping outside of Canada.

Additionally, many small businesses depend on Canada Post to conduct daily business, as many courier services come with a heftier price tag. In 2013, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) did a survey which demonstrated that 98 per cent of small-business owners use its letter mail services on a monthly basis. Moreover, 40 per cent sent 50 or more pieces of mail per month.

As such, the CFIB is advising small businesses to plan ahead when it comes to paying suppliers and sending products before the potential strike date. Monique Moreau, the CFIB’s director of national affairs notes that this issue could even lead to “cash flow problems for businesses waiting for cheques.”

“The ramifications can be significant,” she says.

John Hamilton, a Canada Post spokesperson, also notes that some small businesses are now using online services for things like invoice payments, allowing them to rely less on mail services.

“It’s unfortunate, but we understand what customers have to do to protect their business,” he says, adding that Canada Post is working hard to avoid a work disruption.

To ensure that your mail will be received before June 30, check out Canada Post’s list of mailing dates here.

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