Loss of Canada Post home delivery 'a slap in the face'

The Telegram and The Canadian Press
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Crown corporation will eliminate thousands of jobs

Craig Dyer was on his mail route Wednesday when he learned Canada Post is saying goodbye to the door-to-door postman

A Canada Post letter carrier braves the cold in this Telegram file photo.

It’s huge,” said Dyer, the chief shop steward with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) Local 126 in St. John's.

The national mail service says rising costs and falling mail volumes have made it impossible to continue its traditional operations.

The federal Crown corporation plans to phase out home delivery within the next five years, replacing foot delivery with community mail- boxes.


Short notice

Mike McDonald, local president for the postal workers’ union, said the union’s national president was only given a half hour’s notice of the radical announcement. It’s not known how many jobs will be affected in this province.

But McDonald fears the federal government is setting up the postal service to be privatized and subject to multinational bids under the Canada-European Trade Agreement.

He said Canada Post spent billions on equipment and vehicles and “now all of a sudden the sky is falling and there’s no money.”

“This plan was unrolled without addressing the union,” he said, adding workers don’t deserve to be bullied and threatened even if technology is changing, prompting more people to opt for electronic bills and statements.

“It’s been a slap in the face, really.”

Canada Post says about 6,000 to 8,000 positions will be eliminated over the same time period, mainly through attrition.

The postal service expects nearly 15,000 employees to retire or leave the company in the next five years.

About a third of Canadian homes still receive mail to their door, it said.

The announcement comes in the midst of the busiest time of year for postal outlets, which handle a dramatic rise in both letters and packages for the Christmas holiday.

But the corporation says its business model is unsustainable.

“Canada Post has begun to post significant financial losses,” it said in the announcement.

“If left unchecked, continued losses would soon jeopardize its financial self-sufficiency and become a significant burden on taxpayers and customers.”

Last month, Canada Post announced that it would ask Ottawa for financial relief next year to help support a restructuring of its business model and pension plan framework to assure long-term financial sustainability.

“The company will continue to bring the cost of labour in line with its competitors through attrition and collective bargaining over time,” it added on Wednesday.

The postal service has faced intense competition from couriers, as well as technology that has led to a growing popularity of consumers paying their bills and communicating online.

In the third quarter, Canada Post reported an improved, but still big, pre-tax loss of $109 million for the period ended Sept. 28. The pre-tax loss in the comparable period a year ago was $145 million.



Organizations: Canada Post, Canadian Union, Postal Workers Canada-European Trade Agreement.He

Geographic location: St. John's, Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • Robin
    December 13, 2013 - 15:23

    Just started a petition to save home delivery please sign! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/379/878/506/save-canada-post-home-delivery/

  • Robb
    December 12, 2013 - 12:11

    The cost of unions strike again (no pun intended). Again, another case of unions pricing their workers out of the market, and eventually the workers pay for it in the form of lost jobs, reduced hours, and so on. Unions are a thing of the past, and legislation should absolutely be passed making membership optional. Next step, outlaw them.

    • T Major
      December 14, 2013 - 12:11

      Robb should back to economics 101 class. To make an educated comment, you have to have evidence. Here's some facts(check them out -don't take my word for it) : Third quarter projections are not yearly financial statements. It is a fact that CP made a profit in 2012, as they actually did for the past eighteen years( yes, even in 2011,during the lockout( you have to look deeper into their loss claims) ; The pension is not in deficit, as they claim. If the corp. privatizes and ceases to operate publicly, then there would be a funding shortfall, but it is currently solvent ; reducing services and infrastructure only hinders growth. Despite CP's best efforts at austerity, the corp continues to make money. Any rate hike that has ever occurred in the industry has had a negative impact on sales growth( reducing volumes and repeat business). So, how do they think a 37 cent increase is not going to severely weaken the service? Get educated on the real causes...not fear mongerring.

  • da bejer
    December 12, 2013 - 09:33

    Well Steve....what u wrote is demented....but ....Canada Post should have eliminated door to door delivery years ago. I've been getting my mail at a community box for years. For those who complain about this:get a postal box key.....and yes .....get a life!

    • Brett
      December 12, 2013 - 10:04

      This can't be a surprise. Maybe the lack of home delivery will help reduce the junk mail received too. I wish they kept garbage/recycling bins next to the super boxes, then you could just dump the junk mail right into the garbage right there without bringing it home.

  • david
    December 12, 2013 - 09:31

    Fretting about a long bankrupt, woefully inefficient, and completely unneeded postal system is so telling of how ignorant and oblivious Canadians ---- 10 times moreso Newfoundlanders ---- are about the economic fate of this country. This is the tip of an enormous iceberg. Not being told that there's a fire in the movie theatre let's everyone enjoy a little bit more of the movie, but it makes things a lot worse when you do finally realize the truth. Oh, and good luck getting into a Canadian ER if you make it that far.

  • Too Expensive
    December 12, 2013 - 09:15

    I bought a pair of mittens for my 4 year old niece who lives in Halifax. They cost $5. I put them into a 5x7 padded envelope which had to be measured and weighed at the Shoppers Drug mart postal outlet. Cost of regular postal service to Halifax for my $5 dollar mittens was $11.20!! I refused the service and will keep the mittens until someone pops over there for a visit. Why must parcels from Newfoundland be measured and weighed? I don't think this is standard across the country.

    • Brett
      December 12, 2013 - 10:01

      You're trying to put a pair of mittens on a plane to halifax and have it handled by 5-6 people just to deliver a $5 pair of mittens to your niece. For the time/cost it takes for that 1 pair of mittens to make it to your niece I think you have to really say - geez, I had best not send those mittens! The rest of us taxpayers thank you!

    • Steve
      December 12, 2013 - 11:12

      Oh course this is standard. Just because your item is only worth $5 doesn't mean it costs any less to send there.

    • Mark
      December 12, 2013 - 12:32

      Why are envelopes and parcels measured for their dimensions? Not done here in Edmonton. Is it because you are an island? Hardly seems fair. Is mail measured that comes from the Yukon, NWT or Nunavut??

    • Arch
      December 12, 2013 - 13:09

      I think the point the author is this thread is trying to make is that a 5x7 parcel (smaller than a business sized envelope) cost over $11 to Halifax. The issue here is not the value of the mittens or their weight (which is minimal) but the fact Canada post measures the dimensions. A practice it does not do universally across the country. We are punished because of our isolation. This is just another indicator that Canada Post cannot figure out a plan to manage itself.

    • Robert
      December 12, 2013 - 15:21

      All goods are both weighted and cubed, if in your case your mitts barley move the needle on the scale, then that's when the cubing comes in. Canada Post and Purolator both do this..................it's all about the money and how much they can get back from all of us. What ever is greater size or weight is what you pay for.

  • Jack
    December 12, 2013 - 08:59

    We used to get milk delivered to our door years ago and now we get it at the corner store. The doctor used to come to our house and take our temperature and give us medicine. Those things dont happen any more and we all seem to have adjusted. Going out to get our mail is no different. We really only need to go get our mail at certain times like cheque day or when bills come. Having the flyers or junk mail not available at our door every day is not really a big deal.Times change for all of us - seniors included.

    • Actually
      December 12, 2013 - 09:51

      I still get mail delivered to my door. Many people do. for about .30 more a container and the convenience of knowing I'll never suddenly be without. As do many people in the area that I live (young children, high milk volume)

  • Gary
    December 12, 2013 - 07:40

    They can start the path back to solvency by charging postage on items from China they deliver for free. The same item shipped from Toronto - often re-mailed from China costs double in shipping than the purchase cost!! Something is seriously wrong...

  • P F Murphy
    December 12, 2013 - 06:51

    I want to keep my to the door postal service which costs less than 74 cents a day. You can't even get a Tim's for that. Harper wants to privatize all govt services so his buddies can make a buck on our backs so I'd be willing to give up the position of Prime Minister. Since Harper wants to get rid of all govt, I don't see why he'd have any problem being out on the street. Maybe then he could get a job as a postal worker and be of use to people since he has never had a real job in all his life.

    • JJ
      December 12, 2013 - 10:16

      What makes you so special? You do realize that not everybody gets mail delivered to their door. You "sense of entitlement" people make me sick.

    • MR
      December 12, 2013 - 12:11

      For a number of years we did have the community mail box's and perhaps about ten years ago the federal government decided to remove them due to high cost and we were advised that we were required to purchase a mailbox for home delivery. Someone can't make up their mind.

  • Steve
    December 12, 2013 - 06:00

    This sums comic sums it up pretty much: http://www.gocomics.com/fminus#.UqmVdEDh7m4 This is not spam, it does make a very serious social-economic statement regarding Canaa Post's decision.