The union representing postal workers is demanding answers and action after confirming one person has died as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak at its Gateway sorting facility in Mississauga.
Qaiser Maroof, the president of the Toronto local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, calls it a “sad day for Postal Workers” and an “unnecessary loss of life.”
“This tragedy underscores why we have been insisting to the governments that the postal workers are indeed frontline workers,” reads a statement from the union.
“When will the government ensure that our members are treated like frontline workers? When will our health and safety will be treated with high importancy?”
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is demanding answers from the crown corporation, calling for a full investigation into what is going on at the Gateway facility.
“It’s a very difficult time for postal workers because they have been on the front line the entire time and the loss of their co-worker is not going to make it any easier, “said Jan Simpson, CUPW national president. “We need to let Canada Post, public health and the government know they need to be prioritized on the vaccine list as with the health care workers.”
Canada Post says the man last worked the night shift at the facility back on Jan. 18.
A spokesperson for Canada Post says 250 COVID-19 infections have been confirmed at the Gateway facility since January 1. More than 4,500 people work at the Mississauga site.
On Friday, the crown corporation instructed some workers to self-isolate at the request of Peel Public Health (PPH) in an effort to control further spread of the virus.
Canada Post says the Gateway facility is still operating, but it is a major hub in the carrier’s national network, meaning commercial customers and Canadians should expect delays in delivery.
“We have implemented contingency plans and continue to review the situation to minimize the impact on customers,” said spokesperson Phil Legault
The plans in place include moving and redirecting products to other processing plants and maintaining processing within the Gateway facility.
Customers are able to track their packages on Canada Post’s website and app.