Canada Post to Strike as soon as Monday Morning
Canada Post will likely be going on strike as early as Monday morning. So far, there has been no official information posted on their website, or in their offices. In fact, if you had asked last week at some of the offices, the response you got was a shrug and an “I know about as much as you do.” The main sticking points, as it stands, seem to be around Canada Post wanting to lower the wages of new staff to about $17.50, from just under $25 an hour. The reason for this is that, in recent years, Canada Post has been losing a large amount of their business; through new technology and digitization, or through people finding other means of shipping, due to Canada Post being well behind the times in equipment, leading to slower, less reliable service than is achieved by their privatized counterparts.
As it stands, there has been very, VERY little media coverage of the strike, which is now imminent. The updates have been few, and far between, with no follow-up done. The <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Union and the Crown Corporation have both been guilty of drawing these negotiations out, of trying to demonize the other. And yet, none of this is in the public eye. It has been back room dealings from the time their agreement expired at the end of January. The media has been SO silent, in fact, that it is as if they have been ‘warned off’ the subject. The occasional blurb from the CBC, or short articles in local news papers say very little, if anything, beyond stating another delay of a day or two before the strike, or claiming (falsely) that tensions seem to have eased with the latest counter offer.
One of the most in depth articles I have been able to find on this issue thus far has been from a US website, called Free Speech Radio News, which has given some of the sticking points that have not made it into the Canadian media, such as the Union’s attempt to get better safety measures, and more job security, and the Corporations desire to have postal workers take on longer routes, and carry heavier loads, as well as take a cut in pay. Clearly, Canada Post’s services are out of date. They are seeing a decrease in clients of about 1.5% each year, apparently. However, the corporation is still making a profit. As a Crown Corporation, profit is not supposed to be the main priority, but rather, offering cost effective services to Canadians. Costs should be, primarily, based upon operating expenses. So why, then, are both sides in this debate keeping so much from the Canadian people, the people the service of whom is the sole purpose of the corporation having been brought into existence.
I am aware that many people will see this and think “why do we need a postal service? This is the age of E-Mail, online purchasing, and E-Banking/Direct Deposit.” How, though, will we receive these online purchases, without a postal service? While there are many things that can be done electronically, accounting for the marginal decrease in postage each year, we are still a long way from being able to abandon having a viable postal service. Indeed, you would be hard pressed to find a post-Industrial nation that HASabandoned a national postal system. I am also aware that there is certainly more at stake for both sides of this debate than “we want more money” “well, we want to pay you less,” however, due to the way that this issue, effecting all Canadians, has been handled by both parties, who owe their jobs to the Canadian tax-payers, we have a right to know what the sticking points are, and, indeed, that there is a strike looming.
This is NOT to say that WE own their jobs, or directly pay their wages. That is a cliché I loath to hear from people when I am waiting at a government office; “I pay your wages, I am your boss” is a narrow minded, and incorrect assessment of the civil service or government employees, based on delusions of grandeur and a piss-poor attitude. No wonder the service you get as a result is rubbish, personally I would tell you to bugger off. They pay taxes too, and they put up with a lot more BS from the public than we do. But we DO have a right to know why our services are being interrupted, whether it is a case like this, with a Crown Corporation having a strike or lock-out, or something in line with the economic crisis a few years back (and depending on who you as, continuing through this day), where people could not get their Employment Insurance, due to high volumes and short staff. When the EI office was backlogged, and people were waiting months to hear anything, it was all over the news. Reporters were everywhere, asking people on the street, or at the government offices what their opinions were on the situation. Where is that blood-lust, that fiery desire to catch the government with their pants down this time? Why are so many of us finding out about this from our banks, or our utility companies, or other service providers? I have spoken to several Pensioners recently, who found out because they got their pension cheques a week early with a note saying “go in and set up direct deposit to avoid any possible delays for your next payment.”
As a crown corporation, they are owned by the government. Why hasn’t the minister in charge given a press conference? Oh, yes, because he or she has been on a month of paid vacation while Elections Canada verifies the results. Neither side in the debate is willing to come forward and clearly explain the situation. Any interviews I have seen have been demonizing the other party, or throwing out red-herrings about Canada Post expanding into Banking, and nonsense like that. Enough is enough. The people have a right to know; and some of us even WANT to. If the people responsible for this dubacle are not willing to give us the information, it would be nice if at least the people paid to dig into this sort of nonsense would give us something. But they seem to know less than the rest of us.
Most Recommended Comment
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada