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Canada Post’s ongoing labour dispute leaves Canadians frustrated

Click to play video: 'Canada Post: Union delays job action for 24 hours as labour talks continue'
Canada Post: Union delays job action for 24 hours as labour talks continue
WATCH ABOVE: CUPW national president Mike Palecek said Monday that a special mediator appointed to oversee negotiations between Canada Post and its postal workers has helped the two sides move closer to finding an agreement – Aug 29, 2016

The ongoing labour dispute between Canada Post and its workers has Felicia-May Stevenson at her wits’ end.

The threat of a possible Canada Post service disruption has kept Canadian retailers on their toes, Stevenson among them. She has three Etsy sites, selling clothing, accessories and household items.

READ MORE: What are the Canada Post talks about anyway?

Business owners will deal with a service disruption, Stevenson said — it’s the waiting that’s getting a little ridiculous. She says the ongoing Canada Post drama has been a major topic of discussion among fellow online retailers.

“We’re all just crossing our fingers and waiting and it’s getting tiring. Either go on strike or don’t, but can you make up your minds?”

Negotiations between the The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and the Crown corporation have been ongoing for months. A notice of job action by CUPW set to expire Sunday night was delayed a further 24 hours in the hopes of finding a resolution.

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WATCH: Expert explains how a special mediator can help Canada Post reach agreement

Click to play video: 'BIV: Canada Post job action'
BIV: Canada Post job action

The two sides have been deadlocked on the issues of pay scales for rural letter carriers and proposed changes to pensions for future employees.

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The Retail Council of Canada has met with the federal government to ask for a swift resolution to the negotiations. And on Monday, e-commerce giant eBay urged Canadian businesses to write to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to ask him to get involved.

“Negotiations are ongoing, but we don’t see a solution coming down the pipe,” eBay Canada managing director Andrea Stairs told the Canadian Press. “So we really felt it was time for the prime minister to get involved.”

WATCH: ‘We respect labour’: Trudeau confident Canada Post agreement will be reached 
Click to play video: '‘We respect labour’: Trudeau confident Canada Post agreement will be reached'
‘We respect labour’: Trudeau confident Canada Post agreement will be reached

However, Trudeau has said he’s confident a deal can be reached, and back-to-work legislation is not being considered.

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Stevenson said she stands with postal workers, and feels frustrated Canada Post stresses the importance of the bottom line while the ongoing labour dispute leaves Canadian businesses in the lurch.

“They need to realize that it’s not just [Canada Post] workers, there’s a lot of very small businesses and medium businesses that will be affected. So it can affect the economy on a vast level,” said Stevenson.

“It’s not just not receiving bills in the mail. For us, everything will go to a standstill.”

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Stevenson said one of her businesses, FeliciaNation, has a plan in place to stay afloat regardless of service disruption but she says the other two aren’t able to follow the same plan.

The Gatineau, Que., resident recently checked the cost to send a $20 order to the United States; usually $5.70 with Canada Post, the cost would balloon to about $50 with UPS or FedEx, which she calls “not feasible.”

READ MORE: Governments, online retailers prepare as Canada Post work stoppage looms

The labour dispute appears to be slowing down sales, Stevenson said, with people hesitant to order. And businesses don’t only need to ship out orders, they also need to receive stock or materials.

“For every small business owner this has been very stressful,” said Stevenson. “Everybody’s worried, ‘what are we going to do, have you found alternate arrangements?’ Everybody’s getting kind of tired of it.”

With files from the Canadian Press

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