Union asking Islanders to fight Canada Post cuts

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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 Purolator Courier Postal Service

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Summerside, P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • Doug
    March 27, 2014 - 06:58

    Would this be the same Union that didn't give a dam about the public when it goes on strike ?

  • BERT
    March 26, 2014 - 22:47

    They want us to support them to retain their overpaid wages and pensions, which would then allow them to go on strike the first chance they get and shut down the mail service, as they have done in the past to the very ones they are asking for support from. done in the past

  • jack
    March 26, 2014 - 11:51

    The greedy posties have burned too many bridges with the public with their many, many strikes. They don't care about the public..only their over-paid jobs (my paper boy at least gets the houses correct, the posties don't).

  • NMailer
    March 26, 2014 - 11:35

    Look kid, you may have been born yesterday, but a lot of us were not. Many of us still remember the bitter, bitter strikes you put on in the 70's and 80's. Most of us, save for a few union people, would have gladly allowed gov't to cut you off wholesale, if they had the parts, get rid of CP lock, stock, and barrel. You are no more essential than the Prov. government sponsored LCC. And don't think it was far off, it was Summerside where the Union guy was charged. Oh you have it sooooooo hard. Now I learned the postage is going up next week in a big way...and you want US to fight for YOU? oh you are so essential, show me how fast a private enterprise would replace all of you. Goodbye

  • george
    March 25, 2014 - 10:36

    wee dont need mail it cost to mutch

  • don
    March 25, 2014 - 07:56

    Chris you are worried about losing your $30.00 an hour job. and if you think in your mind that all your hot air is going to change canada post's mind then you need help.