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Letter carrier assaulted in New West

A New Westminster neighbourhood was without mail service this week, and it had nothing to do with Wednesday’s announcement that door-to-door service is being eliminated.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) say a letter carrier delivering mail to a neighbourhood relay box for distribution in the 12th Street area Dec. 4 was surrounded by three dogs, including two pit bulls. He escaped by using pepper spray and then hopped in his van, but he was followed. When he made his next stop someone smashed his window and mirror with a baseball bat, said CUPW Local 470 vice-president Angel Hoare.

The union said as a result of the attack, postal workers refused to deliver mail in the neighbourhood so Canada Post had a supervisor accompany the carrier the next day but refused to continue this, so the area hasn’t had mail delivered since Friday.

“It’s really very concerning on a health and safety aspect,” said Hoare, who said there was another incident in Maple Ridge last week when someone tried to get the master key and wallet from a letter carrier.

As for Wednesday’s national announcement, Hoare said the move will have “a huge impact” on urbanized areas like New Westminster, where the local’s office is located.

“The long-term, established communities will be impacted more. I don’t think it’s a good thing for the corporation and the community,” said Hoare. “We have seniors, stay-at-home moms, handicapped not capable of getting out on a regular basis. All of these people will be impacted on a regular basis. That’s just my opinion.”

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