Proposed cutbacks planned for post office subject of July 19 information picket

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Unionized postal workers at the Amherstburg post office are planning an information picket later this month to protest changes they say Canada Post is instituting there.

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Over time, Markham said two full-time positions will be lost with those losses occurring when retiring staff aren’t replaced. The current collective agreement forbids staff from being downsized in that fashion, she noted.

“The post office is making changes to the way they do retail sales,” said Markham. “They are reducing things to one person stationed behind a hole in the wall at a counter.”

Reducing retail service could be detrimental, Markham believed, as it wouldn’t allow them to produce the revenue necessary to remain sustainable.  She said there is a fear the local post office may one day close.

“It’s a huge threat,” she said. “If we can’t generate revenue, how can we pay the expenses it takes to provide this service?”

Markham said they are aware of the Conference Board of Canada’s report on Canada Post but questions why new business models and cutbacks are proposed when a review is not mandated until 2014.

“Why are they downsizing now?” she asked.

The information picket at the post office will help educate the general public, she added, though admitting “we might not make any difference at all.”

The public might not realize until it’s gone what value they have in the post office, she added. Markham said Canada Post is utilized by many couriers to deliver packages to homes as postal workers “take it the last mile.”

Eugene Knapik, spokesperson with Canada Post, said Friday that the company is “in consultations” with CUPW but added there was “nothing finalized.”

Knapik also referred to the Conference Board of Canada’s report and said the company has to adapt to a new business model.

“We are looking at making changes to run more efficiently and to evolve the company. We don’t want to be a burden on the taxpayer,” he said.

Markham had stated they do not rely on taxpayer money.

Knapik added they are “exploring different options” but reiterated consultations are ongoing. He said he would have a better idea of what the future holds when consultations are finalized.

 

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