Canadians could be facing a possible strike or lockout by postal workers as early as July 2, but contract negotiations are ongoing.

In an update on their website, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers noted that, beyond the July 2 deadline, they have the “right to strike or the employer the right to lock us out.”

The contract between Canada Post and the CUPW expired in 2015. A work stoppage would affect 40,000 employees, including mail delivery personnel.

In anticipation of a possible work stoppage, governments and other companies are making alternate arrangements for essential paper mail to be made available.

On the government of Manitoba’s website, there is a list of locations where government cheques may be picked up or dropped off in case of a strike or lockout.

The city of Victoria issued a notice that says, “due to a possible Canada Post strike,” property owners are advised to send property tax payments by mail no later than June 23, in order to meet the deadline. Other municipalities have issued similar notices to property taxpayers.

In their most recent update, CUPW noted that negotiations are “intensifying,” with Canada Post, and their committee is “working relentlessly to achieve a collective agreement that meets the needs of all CUPW members.”

Canada Post workers were locked out in 2011, but were legislated back to work by the federal government.

With files from CTV Kitchener