Union asking Islanders to fight Canada Post cuts

Nigel Armstrong
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Chris Clay, left, listens to Scott Gaudet, a postal worker from Summerside prior to the start of a public meeting in Charlottetown Monday. Clay is chair of the Charlottetown local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and hosted the meeting to shed light on massive changes pending for Canada Post.

There are massive changes coming to postal service on P.E.I. and union members want Islanders to gear up for a fight.

Local members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers hosted the first in a series of public meetings Monday in Charlottetown at the Murphy Community Centre.

Local president Chris Clay said details are impossible to obtain, creating a situation of smoke and mirrors regarding the future of postal service.

Canada Post's Five Point Action Plan

He said people might be surprised by the facts. Email and electronic billing have reduced a portion of mail, but it has been more than offset by Internet purchasing.

"We are seeing an explosion of on-line shopping," said Clay. "A lot of what I carry as a letter carrier day to day is little packets that people are ordering on-line. We deliver that door to door.

"In 1996 we moved 8.2 billion pieces of mail. In 2012 we moved 9.6 billion," said Clay.

The corporation has different divisions, including its purchase of Purolator Courier Ltd., and overall, it makes a huge profit, the meeting was told.

Its postal office division could offer banking services, as is done in many other countries, offering a new stream of revenue, said Scott Gaudet, a postal worker from Summerside.

Clay said Canada Post has a promotion in place to encourage people to use on-line billing, an absurd promotion for a mail-delivery company.

"There doesn't seem to be any logic to any of it," said Charlottetown Councillor Edward Rice of the proposed cuts and changes.

"When you ask for a clear answer, you don't get one," said Clay. "It just seems to be a purposeful dismantling of the company."

Canadian Postal Service Charter

Gaudet said he thinks the goal is privatization.

"I think it's important that people do start to understand what's happening to the post office," said Gaudet. "The current government wants to cut it up and sell it off to their friends."

There are currently 42 letter carriers in the Charlottetown district, serving 31 mail routes, said Clay.

"Every three routes will become one so we will go from 31 to 10, maybe 12 letter carriers," he said,

Most residents will get mail at new community mailbox sites that have yet to be constructed.

Where will they go, especially in the downtown, asked Coun. Rice.

"If you look at the postal boxes around town where, I guess, they pick up mail, they are kicked, they are banged, they are knocked over, there is graffiti on them," he said. "It's a maintenance problem."

The meeting heard that rural delivery is also going to be affected as Canada Post declares more and more private roadside mailboxes as unsuitable and moves more rural mailbox customers to community box sites.

"I have yet to meet anyone who thinks (these changes) are a good idea," said Clay.

The meeting heard that Canada Post has launched a five-point restructuring plan but no one can find out exactly when the cuts will come to P.E.I.

The public needs to rally in support of keeping door-to-door delivery and all aspects the current service, the meeting heard.

"The people realizing what they are about to lose is going to help the most, because that is who puts the X on the vote," said Rice.



Organizations: Canada Post, Canadian Union, Postal Workers Murphy Community Centre.Local Purolator Courier Postal Service

Geographic location: Charlottetown, P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • 12435mm
    April 09, 2014 - 11:22

    Good luck to the postal workers fighting the mismanagement and self-destruction of our public postal service by the Harper Government. It's up to the public to revolt or accept the loss of one more vital public service.

  • Leona
    March 25, 2014 - 18:47

    Our economy is hurting enough. We don' want to see thousands more out of work.. We as citizens have to do our part to support these workers, (regardless of their pay). The mail is essential to many people. Why should those of us who actually rely on the mail, be made to suffer. Because some ignorant people do not have a heart , don't care if their neighbor, friend, etc might be out of work. they are not fighting for money. they just want to be able to keep their jobs. We should be supporting hem not putting them down. #savecanadapost :)

    • Dave
      March 25, 2014 - 22:05

      Gee Leona, why not just give every unemployed person a plum Federal government job?

    • Dave
      March 25, 2014 - 22:32

      "In 1996 we moved 8.2 billion pieces of mail. In 2012 we moved 9.6 billion," said Clay..............That may be true, but there has also been a huge rise in the amount of junk mail during that time period too. How much of that 9.6 B is thrown in the garbage instantly?

  • Cant Wait.
    March 25, 2014 - 16:49

    Well Im one senior who cant wait for community boxes, and I live in rural pei. Fed up with these people that refuse to take one step out of the their car because doing so would extend the time of their round, fed up with missing mail, most of my utilities are now done by E-bills thus cutting out Canada Post.

  • Dave
    March 25, 2014 - 15:17

    30 % of the country gets home delivery, but yet 70% of Canadians live in an urban environment. How does that make any sense? Meanwhile, how many rural Islanders get delivery to their driveway. This whole system is rotten................it's time for it to go.

  • Almost a Senior
    March 25, 2014 - 15:15

    If you really want to maintain door to door service give a few bucks to the 12 year old girl that delivers my news paper. She does a great job!

  • Al
    March 25, 2014 - 14:29

    Postal delivery no longer needed.only 1/3 of homes get it now.save the taxpayers money and stop the home delivery.

  • NDPartyLikeIt's1992
    March 25, 2014 - 12:05

    I'm so angry I could just write an email about it and then go burn the unwanted environment-hating flyers in my mailbox.

  • Fed up
    March 25, 2014 - 08:15

    What kind of .......(at a loss what to call them)... doesn't think we need the door to door mail?!?! Some lonely person who never gets mail? Seniors especially would be devastated if they had to walk through bad weather....any weather...to get their mail!! This is the reason for things changing NOT for the better....people like THAT

    • I Am Fed Up Too
      March 25, 2014 - 08:47

      I am fed up with Canada Post using seniors as pawns in this discussion. Where was all of the compassion for seniors when Canada post went on strike to prevent seniors from getting their pension cheques? Where was the compassion when seniors wanted to mail Christmas cards presents and Canada post went on strike at Christmas. Seniors get groceries and other necessities. They could pick up their mail when they go for groceries. If they have someone pick up their groceries for them I am sure the same people would pick up their mail for them. Even if door to door delivery were to be maintained I am sure seniors wouldn't be too concerned if it were being delivered more efficiently by a private sector company. Perhaps the seniors you are so concerned about could even get a little tax break with the money saved.

    • Here's an Idea
      March 25, 2014 - 08:52

      .......(at a loss what to call them)... Call them realists.

    • Countrygal
      March 25, 2014 - 10:26

      I saw some walking to Bingo and and a 'corner' store for cigarettes.

    • The Observer from Stratford
      March 25, 2014 - 13:47

      @fed up: If this was a totally new initiative then your question might be valid. However in this case it isn't. Stop portraying seniors as helpless, pathetic individuals who can't adjust to change. Don't you realize that all the issues you raise have already been settled/solved in the thousands of locations that already have CMBs? All your questions/objections are nothing but red herrings.

  • Why don't You Go On Strike?
    March 25, 2014 - 08:15

    "I have yet to meet anyone who thinks (these changes) are a good idea," said Clay. Apparently you are talking to the wrong people. I think the changes are a great idea. The only people I hear complaining are the overpaid workers. For years when people actually needed the mail service Canada Post employees through their unions held Islanders and Canadians hostage demanding ridiculous pay increases. The timing of the strikes were meant to inflict as much damage as possible on people who depended on the service. A good tactic from simply a greed point of view but a lot of people have long memories. Canada post and its unions have become a victim of their own success. Now that the service is all but obsolete they feel they are still entitled to the inflated salaries for doing what would otherwise be minimum wage jobs. If you want to see how much you are needed go on strike today. You would be on the picket line until you are eligible for your inflated pension. The private sector can do the same thing for a fraction of the cost. Dismantle Canada Post. As for Canada Post providing banking services... just look at the people in the picture. Money managers? I don't think so.

  • Thing of the Past
    March 25, 2014 - 07:19

    Really, who cares if Canada Post goes away? There are many other cheaper, more effective alternatives and with email and cheap courier rates, Canada Post will soon be a thing of the past--just a sign of the times. People are really tired of hearing about overpaid postal workers who always seem to want more and about a corporation that can't accept the fact that it just isn't needed any longer. Islanders have bigger issues to fight for--this just isn't one of them.

  • Countrygirl
    March 25, 2014 - 05:58

    Times are a changin'. Long time since the horse and buggy delivered mail to our place.

  • w kennedy
    March 25, 2014 - 00:40

    This current gov. comes from a place {Alberta} that even sold off the liquor stores that made money. See the problems privatizing the railway made {bumper wheat crop not moving to market, train derailing s] some farmers still think the government has control over [CNR]

    • Gordie MacDonald
      April 06, 2014 - 18:27

      Interesting comments , but most are ignorant and full of nothing factual . Why is it when someone makes a decent wage , their greedy ? Should the only people that make good money work in Alberta ? So because you don't have a federal job all federal jobs should go away ? Why destroy a corporation that's made 1.5 billion dollars in profits over ten years be destroyed for nothing ? What are business going to do when this tax base leaves and more of you leave for Alberta ? What about the seniors that ARE unable to get out in winter or the disabled ? What about the litter created by these boxes ? When any of the commentaries can answer these simple questions with some fact then their responses would be worth reading , but all they are are soured people who probably didn't get their cheque on time , and should be ashamed of these responses ...