The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) expressed disappointment today over announced plans that will see Canada Post end door-to-door mail delivery, raise stamp prices significantly and, in the process, eliminate somewhere between 6,000 and 8,000 jobs.
Positions at Canada Post will be eliminated over the next five years. Because of job security measures in CUPW collective agreement, jobs will be phased out through attrition, though it is not clear yet whether that will include buy-outs.
In a press release, Canada Post explained that if the losses were left unchecked, the corporation would become a “significant burden on taxpayers and customers.”
“We recognize that Canada Post needs to change, but this is not the way,” responded CUPW president Denis Lemelin in a press release of his own.
CUPW has long advocated for expansion of Canada Post services as a way of addressing revenue problems. Despite posting profits for 16 years, the last nine quarters have seen revenue drop to $1.7 billion from 1.8 billion in 2011.
Though mail delivery is down, package delivery has increased because of the rise of online shopping.
CUPW used today’s announcement to promote their plan for a postal banking system as a way of expanding and maintaining Canada Post services. A recent report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that a national postal banking system could provide access to financial services for many more Canadians.
“It is time to have a large public debate around the future of this corporation,” said Lemelin at a press conference today.
A number of other unions also expressed their support for CUPW. Unifor president Jerry Dias called the news “devastating” in a press release today.
CUPW is calling on Canadians to contact their MPs if they feel the decision should be reversed.