Canada Post shift in Peel Region ordered shut down during COVID-19 outbreak
Mail boxes are seen at Canada Post's main plant in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, May 9, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)
TORONTO -- Peel Public Health has issued an order to shut down a shift at the Canada Post Gateway West facility, ordering some 90 workers and managers to stay home and self-isolate for 10 days.
The move comes as Canada Post facilities have been hit with outbreaks across Toronto and Peel, including the death of a worker at a mail processing plant in Toronto’s east end.
In a letter to employees, Canada Post says that the Shift 3 employees in the Toronto Exchange Office on Dixie Road must leave the workplace until Friday, May 7.
“Peel Public Health gave us this direction under [its] Section 22 order on workplaces with COVID-19. Public Health says this is necessary to contain further spread of COVID-19 at this stage, keep our workplace and families safe, and protect our healthcare system,” the notice reads.
Reached by CTV News Toronto, the union representing the workers said that COVID-19 transmission in Canada Post facilities had been a concern of his for a long time.
“Members are scared because we’re in a huge plant, we’re all sharing the same roof basically. The vaccine is not available for my members, and we need to get help with this,” Qaiser Maroof of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers explained.
He said Canada Post is shifting its mail processing to other plants in the hopes the shutdown will not impact mail service.
In the letter, Canada Post says it is adopting “contingency” plans.
“Given the significance of the [Toronto Exchange Office], we are adapting existing contingency plans to manage the impact on customers. More details will be available soon,” the letter says.
An employee at a Canada Post mail processing plant, Theresa Griffin, died after an outbreak was declared at the South Central sorting facility on April 2.
Maroof said an outbreak at the Gateway facility had been ongoing since late April.