WINNIPEG – Postal workers are organizing at the Liberal Convention in Winnipeg this week, hoping to persuade delegates that new services at Canada Post should be high up on the Liberal policy agenda.
“We’re here to talk about some good ideas we’ve developed for better services like postal banking, check-ins for seniors and persons with disabilities, more services for Northern and Indigenous communities, a greener post office and, of course, door-to-door delivery,” said Gord Fischer, National Director of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Prairie region.
While the Liberals campaigned on a promise to stop the previous government’s cuts to Canada Post, they steered clear of promising to restore home delivery to everyone who lost it under Harper. Instead, they have launched a public review that they say will be as consultative as possible. The CUPW wants to make sure Canadians weigh in on that review knowing they have options for innovation.
“Improving and expanding the services we can offer and making the most of our profitable delivery network will benefit all Canadians because the post office is everywhere in our country,” said Basia Sokal of the CUPW Winnipeg Local.
The posties are encouraged by a resolution put forward by the Alberta Liberal Party that calls for Canada Post to help with “basic economic infrastructure” in rural communities, including offering identification cards, high-speed internet and banking services.
“Our campaign to bring back postal banking is clearly picking up momentum,” said Fischer. “As Canada Post admitted in a study on postal banking that they censored, it’s a ‘win-win.””
Post Office reps and branch secretaries from across the UK will be meeting in central London next Monday to decide their response to management’s latest attack on members’ jobs.
Over 500 people working in Post Office Supply Chain – delivering cash and valuables to post offices and other businesses, as well as those processing cash – are threatened with the axe, after this morning’s shock announcement by the company’s chief executive Paula Vennells.
The cutbacks amount to some 50 per cent of the entire supply chain workforce, explained CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey, who notes that, taken together with the controversial Crown Office franchising programme, “over 1,000 jobs are being slashed by the Post Office, which is quite astonishing.
“The Supply Chain job cuts have come as a direct result of the Post Office announcing they’re voluntarily pulling out of external CViT work – which is an almost unbelievably bad business decision.”
Separated from Royal Mail by the 2011 Postal Services Act, the Post Office here in the UK is the only one in the world which has been separated from the national mail delivery service and the CWU maintains that this decision has greatly damaged the network’s viability.
CWU acting DGSP Ray Ellis said: “There’s no doubt that separation has hit both the Crown office counters and the cash in transit operations hard, but Post Office management have also completely failed to develop either of these functions as successful businesses.”
Next Monday’s meeting will consider all options in order to hammer out a strategy to defend members’ jobs and to put forward a positive future strategy for the business.
General secretary Dave Ward said: “With this latest round of job losses, the management of the Post Office has to face the facts that it is in crisis and heading for ruin. If they care about the future of the network they should resign in protest at the straight-jacket government cuts have left them in.
“The Post Office was split from Royal Mail in 2012 in the run-up to privatisation and we are yet to see a plan that will secure its future. With a cut in its funding from £210m in 2013, to zero in 2019, these job losses show that under Sajid Javid’s leadership the Post Office is heading the same way as the steel industry.”
Brian Scott, the Unite union’s national officer for Post Office managerial grades, said that the company’s proposals would “tear the heart out of the Post Office.”
The 79 redundancies of Unite members announced today would “take the total number of proposed job losses to 130 in the last two weeks,” he added.
To help restore delivery of mail and parcels to displaced residents of Fort McMurray, Anzac and Fort MacKay as soon as possible, Canada Post has put emergency measures in place. Residents can register at any post office across the country or online. Details below:
To help reconnect displaced residents with the postal system as quickly as possible, we are asking them to register for our Mail Forwarding service. This is an important service not just for ongoing mail and parcels, but it also provides a vital link with government and relief agencies going forward. Continue reading →
OTTAWA – Canada Post has been a money-maker for most of the past two decades and continues its winning streak, netting almost 100 million (99 million) in 2015.
“Thanks to record parcel volumes and the hard work of postal workers across the country, Canada Post has once again reported healthy profits. We can now take a real look at the options on the table without having to worry about a manufactured crisis,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
“They would have made millions more, had they not tried to push their so-called “community mailboxes” on us,” added Palecek.
The union points out that its pension plan is also healthy on a going-concern basis, with a $1.2 billion surplus.
While CUPW has no argument with the reality of fewer letters being sent, it notes that the Crown Corporation also tends to downplay its booming parcel sector and has refused to explore other options for making money. Part of the mandate of the new Task Force is to explore these options, including postal banking.
“We agreed long ago to a system that allows Canada Post to accommodate fluctuations in mail volumes. So Canada Post can and does routinely restructure its routes to accommodate what’s in the system,” said Palecek.
“We’re happy that we’re finally going to have an opportunity to talk about expanding services and reinvesting some of Canada Post’s profits in ways that benefit all of us.”
OTTAWA – The federal government’s long-awaited announcement of a review of Canada Post is welcome news for Canada’s postal workers, who are looking forward to the public having a say in what tomorrow’s post office can do for the country.
“This government has a historic opportunity to reinvent Canada Post. We’re glad privatization isn’t on the table. We need to get out of the rut of endless cuts, and start getting excited about the possibilities,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Continue reading →
A Nelson postie who refused to deliver scam letters to a rest home has landed herself in trouble with her employer.
The mail woman, who has only been called Carolyn by her union, has avoided a formal warning but has been given a talking to following a NZ Post investigation into her decision not to deliver the mail.
The Postal Workers Union says NZ Post assumed she had opened the letters, but that she actually became aware of the particular scam after one of her colleagues received one of the letters which ask recipients to send money to claim prizes from “winning scratchies”.
After finding 20 identical envelopes in her bag, she twice told her manager she didn’t want to deliver them, particularly with a rest home on her route.
The state-owned post service called for an investigation into why she had interfered with the mail, the union said.
But while it also said she had also been “threatened” with jail time during her meeting, NZ Post called that claim “ridiculous”.
“Her managers made every effort to take a reasonable approach, including not formally warning her while also impressing upon her the seriousness of interfering with mail,” an NZ Post spokesman said.
He said while the NZ Post acknowledged Carolyn was trying to do the right thing, she had knowingly breached the conditions of her employment.
NZ Post didn’t have the power to open mail if it thought it was a scam under the law, but had taken many steps to try to reduce scam mail of the last five years, he said.
The union said despite warnings from NZ Post, Carolyn would be taking a warning letter to residents at the rest home, with instructions to contact the police directly.