TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - The president of one of Canada's largest unions pledged to campaign against dramatic planned cuts in Canada Post services, including the complete elimination of door-to-door delivery. "This is a devastating announcement, that will hurt millions of Canadians and cripple an important public institution," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.
He pointed out that senior citizens and many other Canadians depend on door-to-door delivery. He also noted the opposition expressed by many municipalities to the construction of new super-mailboxes in existing neighbourhoods. He promised Unifor's support for community groups, seniors' organizations, municipalities, and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers in their efforts to defend the quality of postal service.
"Access to affordable, accessible postal services, no matter where you live or how mobile you are, is an important democratic right. Canada Post is not a business, it is a public service. There is no economic justification for these dramatic cutbacks, it's just another dimension of needless austerity."
"Doom-and-gloom prophecies about Canada Post's financial losses are not justified by reality," Dias said. "The company has lost money only once since the turn of the century. Dismal forecasts are being used though to scare Canadians into giving an important, legitimate service."
Dias agreed that the Post Office must change its operations to reflect changes in communication technology, but that hardly implies the radical downsizing envisioned by Canada Post's management.
"There are many areas of potential growth for Canada Post, that could cement its role as a public service long into the future," he noted, highlighting service opportunities related to e-commerce, package delivery, postal banking, or public telecommunications access. "Instead of considering these innovations, management's pessimistic vision seems to be to simply work its way out of business."
The 8000 job cuts and widespread closings contemplated by Canada Post's management would only add to the general malaise still experienced in Canada's labour market.