Thursday, June 8, 2023

Canada Post warns of delays as Omicron leads to staff shortage – National | Nation World News

Canadian Post may experience delivery delays over the next few weeks as Canada Post deals with staff issues related to the Omicron COVID-19 version.

Canada post warns of delays as omicron leads to staff shortage - national | nation world news

In a statement sent Tuesday to Global News, Crown Corporation said the “rapidly changing situation regarding COVID-19 and the Omicron version” is affecting the level of staff and credibility.

“We are responding where necessary by implementing contingency plans and adjusting our actions to serve Canadians. This situation is fluid across the country and customers may experience delays over the next few weeks,” a spokesperson said in an email.

“As a national service provider, our people live and work in communities across the country. So, what we are seeing is what is reported by public health officials more commonly seen in our workplace.”

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The company said in a statement on Friday that it may take temporary measures, such as reducing hours or closing some post offices for a short time.

Meanwhile, the company said it “continues to prioritize the health and safety of our people and the communities we serve.”

“In addition to our mandatory vaccination practice, we are continuing to follow COVID-19 safety protocols in the workplace,” Canada Post said.

It did not specify how many employees have been affected recently and which operations have been most affected, but advised Canadians to consult its website and mobile tracking site for delivery information.

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Another courier, Purolator, said that it is also facing shortage of staff.

A spokesperson for the company told Global News that the number of sick employees began to increase at the end of December 2021. Less than five percent of its employees have been affected, he said.

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“We are experiencing some service impacts in areas of Quebec, including shipment delays of one day and earlier cut-off times for shipment pickup. We are taking several steps to process the quantity as soon as possible to minimize the impact on the customers,” the spokesperson said.

“These include prioritizing critical healthcare and express shipments, increasing shift times, and working with customers to better manage volume flows. Customers can view service updates and track shipments on”

Meanwhile, a UPS spokesperson told Global News that the company does not share information about how many employees are making sick calls, but that it “has not affected our ability to serve our customers.”

“Our network is running smoothly and employees are delivering industry-leading on-time delivery performance that all of our customers can depend on,” the spokesperson said.

“We continue to monitor the COVID-19 Omron version and communicate with our employees about recommended practices for managing health risks.”

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Lululemon says changing COVID restrictions, staffing issues will hurt Q4 earnings

Several Canadian companies are joining a growing list of operations facing staffing issues related to the Omicron version.

Airlines, hospitals and transit services are some of the sectors that have had to reduce operations across Canada in recent weeks. The number of people unable to work due to COVID-19 is expected to continue to rise, a Canadian economist previously told Global News.

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Vancouver-based clothing retailer Lululemon Athletica said Monday its full-year earnings would be on the low end of expectations thanks to a range of concerns related to the pandemic, including “limited staff availability.”

Metro Inc., the parent company of drugstore chain Jean Coutou, said in a recent statement that it is adjusting staffing levels at the retailer to reduce the impact of “absenteeism” on its operations.

Canada added more than 55,000 net new jobs in December, with total hours worked in Canada seeing “little change” from November to December, Statistics Canada reported.

Stephen Brown, Canada’s senior economist at Capital Economics, said the figure, which accounts for hours lost due to illness as well as extra hours taken for overtime, would be important to measure Omicron’s impact on the workforce.

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Brown told Global News that current infections in Canada indicate that perhaps 0.5 percent of workers have been isolated from an active COVID-19 infection.

But given how Omicron has overwhelmed testing capacity in provinces like Ontario, he believes the “absence” rate among Canadian workers is closer to 1.5 percent in any given week.

Brown also expects January employment figures to show a reduction in total hours worked and perhaps even a reduction in net jobs.

—With files from Craig Lord

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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