“To change these cuts, we need to change this government. The Harper government is driving the postal train wreck and it needs to stop before more people lose their services.” — Mike Palecek, CUPW National President
Ottawa (27 May 2015) — Canada Post’s annual public meeting in Ottawa is billed as an opportunity for Canadians to “speak directly to senior leaders of the company about present and future policies and direction.” This year’s meeting saw some tough questions being posed to Canada Post executives from people opposed to the cutbacks, according to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).
Public meeting with Canada Post reveals poor rationale for eliminating door-to-door delivery
“When our money-making post office is trying to impose massive service downgrades on Canadians, you’d expect to hear better reasons for it,” said Mike Palecek, CUPW National President, who attended the meeting. “Instead, we keep hearing the same tired old talking points that just don’t stand up to scrutiny.”
Palecek pointed out that the senior executive of Canada Post, Deepak Chopra, is a Harper appointee and that cuts to postal service are becoming a federal election issue for many angered at losing their home delivery, rural post offices and affordable postage rates.
“To change these cuts, we need to change this government,” said Palecek. “The Harper government is driving the postal train wreck and it needs to stop before more people lose their services.”
NDP commits to restoring home postal delivery service to a million Canadians
The New Democratic Party promised this week to restore home delivery to the million Canadians who lost it in 2014. CUPW says that would be far cheaper and easier compared to the cost of switching millions more to centralized mailboxes.
Here are some of the questions posed to Canada Post at the meeting:
- Your financial projections have turned out to be false and you're making money, not losing it. Will you revisit the cutbacks that were based on those projections?
- Almost 600 municipalities are opposing the cutbacks and some are taking you to court. They say they weren’t properly consulted. Will you stop cutting until you can hold proper public consultations on changes to postal services?
- None of the profits from 2014 are attributable to the service cuts. Why not place a moratorium on cuts until the public is consulted?
- People have real concerns about safety, property value damage, and accessibility problems. Why aren’t you listening to them?
- You have a bloated senior administration that is getting bonuses. Why didn’t you start your cuts at the top?
- Where is Canada Post’s internal postal banking study? What do you have to hide?
Sit-in against community mailboxes
Many citiess across the country are throwing up obstacles to delay the placement of the community mailboxes on municipal land. Several weeks ago, the three mayors of Montreal, Laval and Longueuil in Quebec held a press conference to announce they were joining the lawsuit over the cuts to services.
Most recently, in Hamilton, Ontario, city representatives met with Canada Post in court over the crown corporation's refusal to abide by Hamilton's bylaw requiring payment of $200 in order to place each community mailbox on public land.
The fight back doesn't stop there. Henry Evans-Tenbrinke, a local retiree, has staged a sit-in on the spot that a new community mailbox is to be built. Since May 11, Evans-Tembrinke has been on that spot from roughly 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., the hours that the contractors work to prevent them from installing the mailbox. Others have joined his campaign to fight the postal service cuts. As the CBC has reported, Evans-Tembrinke has said he will remain there until the City of Hamilton's court case is completed.
In a CBC interview, he said, "the whole premise that Canada Post is in dire straits financially is false. That's my basic issue. There's no need for this."
Despite the public and business community concerns about reduced service and job loss, Canada Post is refusing to back off its plan to eliminate home postal service.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE