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Canada Post could cut delivery to 3 days as it faces $327M operating loss

Sweeping cuts may be ahead for Canada Post as the Crown corporation faces a $327 million operating loss, CTV News has learned.

In order to stay afloat, Canada Post is considering:

  • reducing home delivery from five to four, or even three, days
  • closing some of the 6,500 retail outlets across the country
  • consolidating its 21 sorting centres to just major cities.

Read more: Canada Post cuts likely as Crown corporation faces $327M operating loss | CTV News.

Video: Canada Post carrier attacked, truck stolen (with him hanging on…)

Postal worker Dan Kindred says he’s still in disbelief after he was attacked on the job and had his Canada Post truck stolen in broad daylight Monday in Surrey, B.C.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Kindred, who has been on the job for nearly 13 years without that kind of trouble.

Kindred said he had stopped his red postal delivery van on a residential street to deliver a parcel when a man pulled him out of the truck, dropped him to the ground and took off with the vehicle.

Read more: Attacked B.C. postal worker on wild ride to keep stolen truck – British Columbia – CBC News.

Canada Post under fire for new fee

A plan by Canada Post to charge developers $200 per home to install new community mailboxes has the new home building industry up in arms.

Dave Pfeutzner, VP of the Canadian Home Builders Association, says the additional charge being levied by Canada Post is unfair and punitive.

He says it amounts to an unfair charge against someone just because they choose to buy a new home.

Read more: Canada Post under fire for new fee – Kelowna News – Castanet.net.

CUPW scores court victory against Harper governmrnt

OTTAWA – The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has scored a significant victory in its fight against the Harper government’s treatment of postal workers.

In a decision handed down October 20th in the Federal Court, Judge Luc Martineau ordered a stay of proceedings relating to the Harper government’s back-to-work legislation (Bill C-6) against thousands of locked-out postal workers in June. The arbitration will now stop until the union’s challenge of the government’s hand-picked arbitrator can be heard in January 2012.

“This decision shows that the union is on the right track. We are questioning the process by which this government has forced its will on postal workers,” said Denis Lemelin, CUPW National President and chief negotiator.

Members of CUPW’s urban unit went on rotating strike in June and were subsequently locked out by Canada Post, then legislated back to work. The union has also launched a separate constitutional challenge against the back-to-work legislation itself, which directs the arbitrator to pick one side only without any possibility of compromise.

The Martineau decision bolsters the union’s objection to Minister of Labour Lisa Raitt’s appointment of Anthony Arthur Coulter Osborne – a unilingual judge without any previous experience in labour relations – to preside over the arbitration. The merits of the union’s case will be argued in January.

Normally, arbitrators are agreed upon by the parties, rather than being imposed by the government. Observers have noted the importance of CUPW’s challenges for the future of labour relations in Canada.

via CUPW – 2011-10-21 – Court Orders Stay of Proceedings in CUPW Challenge to Lisa Raitt’s Arbitrator.

Canada Post Pre-Tax Earnings Declined Sharply in 2010

Ottawa (ON) – The Canada Post Group* today reported that it experienced a continued deterioration in its core Canada Post segment in 2010.

In the Canada Post annual report, which was tabled with the Clerk of the House of Commons today, the company disclosed that earnings before income taxes in the Canada Post segment in 2010 were $233 million, a 27% decrease from 2009. Volume in the company’s flagship domestic Lettermail business decreased by 4.5% from 2009. That marked the fourth consecutive year-over-year decrease in domestic Lettermail volumes and fifth consecutive year of decrease in volumes per address in Canada. Total volumes in the Canada Post segment (comprised of the Transaction Mail, Parcels and Direct Marketing lines of business) decreased by 1.8% from 2009. Revenue from Operations for The Canada Post Group totalled $7.5 billion.

The Canada Post pension plan continued to pose a significant financial burden on the Group in 2010. The plan had a liability of $16 billion and a pension solvency deficit of $3.2 billion at the end of 2010. Canada Post made $746 million in cash contributions to the pension plan in 2010, including $425 million in special payments relating to the solvency deficit. As a result, Canada Post generated negative cash from operating activities in 2010.

Driven by a non-cash income tax entry of $192 million, The Canada Post Group* recorded consolidated net income of $439 million in 2010.

* The Canada Post Group is comprised of the core Canada Post segment, subsidiaries Purolator and SCI Group and Innovapost, a joint venture with CGI Group. The Canada Post segment accounted for almost 80% of the Group’s revenues in 2010.

Canada Post 2010 Annual Report

Union: Is Canada Post creating a crisis?

From the Canadian Union of Postal Workers:

Canada Post claimed its mail volumes dropped significantly during the Canadian Union of Postal Workers’ rotating strikes. That was the excuse it gave for shutting down delivery and imposing a nationwide lockout. But now piles of backlogged mail are awaiting delivery.

The Canadian Postal Service Charter sets out government expectations for delivery standards. According to those standards, Canada Post must deliver lettermail within specific timelines. However, letter carriers are not being allowed to meet delivery standards for all of the addresses on their routes. Postal workers are also reporting they are being forced to deliver out-of-date flyers rather than bills and cheques, setting themselves up to be blamed by an angry public. Reports are reaching CUPW from all over – large urban centres as well as smaller communities – about Canada Post management’s ongoing disruption of postal service.

The CUPW is concerned that decisions made by Canada Post senior management to first lock out and then delay delivery will be blamed on postal workers. This pattern of behaviour on the part of Canada Post management leads to the question: is Canada Post deliberately creating a crisis?

via CUPW – 2011-07-06 – Is Canada Post creating a crisis?.

Did Harper kill Canada Post deal?

From the Toronto Star:

OTTAWA—Backroom negotiations aimed at getting Canada Post workers back on the job produced at least two separate deals that came close to ending the political filibuster on Parliament Hill and the labour stoppage, the Star has learned.

But the deals fell through — including an apparent agreement between Canada Post and its workers — and insiders are pointing the finger at the Prime Minister’s Office as the reason.

New Democrats have accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of taking a hard line in the Canada Post dispute to send a signal to other public sector unions as he girds for federal belt-tightening.

“Obviously the (Prime Minister’s Office) got involved in there. I believe that Stephen Harper wanted to send a message across the country,” said New Democrat MP Yvon Godin.

Full story: Backroom talks came close to ending postal standoff – thestar.com.

Union claim could chart ‘new territory’ in Canadian Labour Law: Expert

Letters and bills may be returning to your mailbox, but the union representing Canada’s postal workers says this fight is far from over.

The 15-member national executive board of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers has decided to take the federal government to court over last week’s back-to-work legislation.

Kevin Banks, a Law professor at Queen’s University, said, "this is a new area of the law and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out."

He said the claim will likely be based on a 2007 Supreme Court decision about "B.C. Health Services."

Full story: Montreal Gazette: Union claim could chart ‘new territory’ in Canadian Labour Law: Expert.

Canada Post promises mail delivery Tuesday

Canadian homes and businesses will start receiving mail again Tuesday now that legislation forcing 48,000 locked-out postal workers back to their jobs has become law, Canada Post says.

Post offices that were closed during the labour dispute will start to reopen Tuesday as well, while mailboxes will be unsealed starting Monday, the Crown corporation said.

via Canada Post promises mail delivery Tuesday – Politics – CBC News.

CUPW: Workers’ Rights Take a Big Hit Under Harper’s Majority Government

OTTAWA – The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) says the Harper government has sent a message to all workers with its unjust and punitive bill legislating postal workers back to work.

“The government is clearly willing to side with employers to grind down wages and working conditions,” said CUPW National President Denis Lemelin. “Its decision to use back-to-work legislation in the Canada Post and Air Canada disputes was not neutral. The Conservatives have shown themselves to be very anti-worker after only two months of majority government.”

Lemelin said the government’s assertion that its legislation was necessary to protect the economy is illogical. He said postal workers had offered to return to work. “The government has attacked our right to freely negotiate the conditions we work under,” said Lemelin. “It appears that only markets and employers will have freedoms in this country.”

“The union’s struggle for safe work, decent jobs and pensions will continue in spite of this unjust and punitive bill. Fortunately, the government can’t legislate away our determination to fight for our rights,” said Lemelin.

Lemelin added that postal workers are very grateful for the support they received from people all across the country and opposition Members of Parliament, especially members of the New Democratic Party (NDP) who eloquently defended free collective bargaining for 58 hours straight. He said the NDP’s filibuster was successful in provoking a resumption of negotiations between CUPW and Canada Post over the last few days, but that the negotiations had ultimately failed.

“Canada Post was uncompromising from the moment Harper’s government introduced back-to-work legislation,” said Lemelin.

via CUPW – 2011-06-25 – Workers’ Rights Take a Big Hit Under Harper’s Majority Government.