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Winnipeg's postal workers will continue to walk the picket lines as their union representatives meet with senior Canada Post management officials on Friday June 3, 2011.

Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press

Canada Post continues to operate its vast network across the country despite the launch of rotating strikes by postal workers, the company said Saturday.

Mail and parcels continue to be delivered in communities across Canada, a spokesperson for the Crown corporation said.

Anick Losier denied reports that street letter boxes have been sealed, adding that some 40 million pieces of mail were delivered Friday.

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The strikes began in Winnipeg on Thursday night, with a 24-hour walkout. They have since spread to Hamilton, Ont., where Canada Post workers are on a 48-hour strike that was to continue until late Sunday.

"We'll be making decisions about additional locations based on progress at the negotiations table," the Canadian Union of Postal Workers said Saturday.

But it said that Canada Post had not yet responded to its recent proposals.

Canada Post's latest offer, which has been rejected, would cut the starting wage of letter carriers to $19 an hour, and at least temporarily shelve a controversial disability program.

Aalya Ahmad, a spokeswoman for the union, said the proposed starting wage is an increase over the previous offer, but would still be an 18 per cent cut from the current starting wage of about $23 an hour.

Ms. Losier said the cuts are necessary due to declining letter volumes and a $3-billion pension shortfall.

"Canada Post remains committed to negotiating a deal that is fair and reasonable without causing the corporation to become a drain on the taxpayers," she said in an email to The Canadian Press.

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"We also believe that the union's strike activity is completely unnecessary. We are at the table and ready to negotiate."

The impact on consumers and business has so far been negligible, but the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says a steady stream of strikes will become problematic.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada says consumers may not receive regular statements for credit cards, loans, mortgages, utility bills and other invoices.

The agency adds that Canadians can avoid late payment fees or interest charges by using telephone or online banking services or checking a company's website for other payment methods.

Charities that get donations by cheque say they expect to be hurt by the job action, and consumers who buy products online are being advised to check to see how items will be shipped.

The last Canada Post strike, in 1997, was ended with back-to-work legislation.

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However on Friday, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt urged the parties to keep trying to work things out themselves.

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