Canada Post workers on picket lines in four cities, including Edmonton

Postal workers set to start strike Xtonight in Edmonton, Halifax, Victoria and Windsor

A small business group is calling for a quick end to rotating walkouts by Canada Post employees and warns a prolonged strike could bite into profits ahead of the holiday shopping season.

"Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have been unable to reach new collective agreements and the union has commenced legal strike actions", said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour in a statement.

And the city is reminding people that fees for most municipal services can be paid online, from applying for business licences and related permits to paying a parking ticket or renewing a pet licence.

Two other issues include addressing precarious jobs and ensuring the health and safety of their letter carriers.

Megan Whitfield, president of CUPW's Toronto chapter, called the Crown corporation's last offer "garbage".

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"We value the relationship with the union and have been able to find common ground on some issues and have also committed to work together constructively on several important files", the statement read.

"Canada Post has not taken negotiations seriously and they just continue to have this "wait and see" (attitude) and the membership is just fed up," she told Sunday. She added workers want the routes restructured to reflect recent changes to Canadians' delivery needs. However, the union has not yet said which region would be affected first.

But Canada Post disputed that claim, stating on Monday: "In those areas, mail and parcels will not be delivered or picked up today".

Over the past decade, the union alleges that working conditions have deteriorated and Canada Post has failed to address "the massive increase in parcel volumes and the burden it has placed on it's members".

The union says it will continue to deliver pension and social assistance cheques.

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