The U.S. Postal Service stopped taking mail bound for Canada as a strike by Canada Post workers moved into its second week with no signs that it would end anytime soon.
Talks between Canada Post and the postal union broke off over the weekend and the national post office said it would lock out workers who had been staging the rolling strikes this month. That made it more likely the government would seek legislation forcing the Canadian Union of Postal Workers back to work and halting the job actions.
The USPS’s decision to suspend Canada deliveries signals a strike that started in limited urban locations was crippling broader service around the country.
The USPS has been holding mail bound for Canada but halted that “due to the expectation by Canada Post officials that the strike … will last until at least sometime next week,” the U.S. agency said.
For the larger world of postal delivery, the strike and lockout highlight the pain that sharply diminished mail volume has brought to postal operations in an era of e-commerce and Internet communications.
The 48,000-member Canadian union has been fighting Canada’s bid for work and cost concessions, cutbacks Canada Post says reflect the same changing mail delivery landscape that has led the USPS to eliminate tens of thousands of jobs and cut billions in annual costs.