Workers at the Canada Posts letter carrier depot in Richmond showed up wearing yellow ribbons Monday in memory of a colleague who died last Thursday (Feb. 9).
The worker left the depot the previous Friday (Feb. 3). When she didnt show up for work Monday (Feb. 6), authorities were called. She was found and taken to hospital and put on life support, but died three days later.
When the announcement was made on Friday, (that the woman had died) people broke down and were just told to go out on their routes. They werent given any support, said union representative John Bail.
Bail, a national officer with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), went down to the two depots where the woman had worked Monday to talk to workers and challenge management to provide critical incident counseling and other forms of support for staff.
Not only should there be more support for workers in relation to this particular incident, but also workers need help dealing with the stress of longer routes and challenging working conditions, said Bail.
The union is also looking into claims that the woman who died had sought support from management and, if that was the case, how that request was handled, said Bail.
Since restructuring two years ago, there have been 11 workplace injuries, Bail said. There hadnt been any workplace injuries the two years prior to that, he added.
As a result of restructuring, 20 routes were cut and the existing routes were extended by 10 per cent to cover the difference.
Bail and others attempted to confront management about the working conditions, but according to Bail, she told them they needed to go through a specialist in Ottawa.
Anick Losier, a spokeswoman for Canada Post, said she felt a comment would be inappropriate. However, she added, Canada Post has an employee assistance program and other checks and balances to ensure our employees have the support they feel they need.