Canada Post's decision to end home delivery

Canada Post’s decision to end home delivery will affect millions

Also see this related post.https://wheelchairrights.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/canada-post-parcel-lockers-wheelchair-rights-report/
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Canada Post’s decision to end home delivery will affect millions, and will be felt most by those with reduced mobility. Urge them to reconsider.

  • Susan Dixon
  • Petitioning Canada Post 

Canada Post: Keep door to door delivery

SIGN SUSAN’S PETITION

Have you ever tried to push a wheelchair or a stroller through the snow?

Last week, millions of Canadians were surprised and angry to learn they may have to travel kilometers to get their mail.

If Canada post go ahead with the plan to end home delivery, the impact will be felt most by people with young children, the disabled, the elderly, and the people who care for them.

It would be especially difficult and dangerous in the winter.

I wonder, did the government or Canada Post really consider how people in difficult circumstances might be affected? I am the mother of two young boys.

My youngest has cerebral palsy and uses a walker or wheelchair to get around. For me, Canada Post’s decision would mean having to bundle them up and struggle through the snow with a wheelchair just to get our mail.  

And I am just one of thousands of Canadians who must already overcome mobility challenges on a daily basis.

That’s why I started this petition urging Canada Post to reconsider the plan to end door-to-door delivery, and think about how all Canadians would be affected. Please sign it and share it with your friends.

My grandfather, a WWII veteran, worked as a mail deliverer for many years. He took his job very seriously and was tremendously proud of providing what everyone considered an essential service to the community.

I know my current mail carrier, who I consider a friend, is just as proud of her work as my grandfather was.

I cannot understand why we would we abandon such a vital service to Canada’s communities, cutting 8000 jobs in the process, and instead impose a system of so-called “super mailboxes” that are less safe and more difficult to access, especially for anyone dealing with reduced mobility.

If you feel the same way, please sign my petition and tell Canada Post and the Canadian government that we need our mail back.

Thank you!

Susan Dixon

 Click Here To Sign Susan’s Petition

This email was sent by Change.orG

Michael Nabert
Canada Post recorded 4,880 incidents involving community mailboxes, ranging from vandalism and arson to mail theft, between 2008 and 2013. The problem is worst, and growing, in the Lower Mainland, especially when identity thieves go on sprees at tax return time.
Welcome to less secure mail. Waiting for a check in the mail that you need to cover rent? Be a shame if it never got to you, eh?http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/are-canada-post-s-community-mailboxes-really-safe-1.2460515
So it’s because of declining mail volume that Canada is told we can’t have door to door mail service anymore.
Indeed, we are apparently the only industrialized nation that somehow can’t make it work.

How is such a staggering oversight even possible? Well as they say, the devil is in the details. Part of the problem is that the authors of the report estimate the decline in mail volumes by comparing year over year numbers between the third quarter of 2011 and 2012.

They don’t account for the fact that 48,000 CUPW members, the bulk of Canada Post’s employees, were locked-out until the end of the 2nd quarter of 2011.

So the mail volumes of the 3rd quarter were artificially inflated as workers cleared the backlog. By basing their projections on these numbers, they make the situation look drastically worse than it actually is.”

http://rabble.ca/news/2013/06/why-canada-post-should-be-expanding-services

This is also worth reading on the subject:

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/dave-bush/2013/12/battle-canada-post-and-future-our-public-services

And unsurprisingly, the places to be most affected by the change are (surprise!) not people who voted Conservative in the last election, i.e.

Canadians that, as far as our current government is concerned, really don’t count at best, and are seen as adversaries at worst. 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/12/12/conservatives_missing_in_action_in_canada_post_cuts_hbert.html

Canada Post ending door to door mail delivery is clearly not simply about costs. It’s about jobs, and contempt for labour, and constantly telling Canadians to expect less, and us quietly taking it.
We can afford to give enormous tax breaks and subsidies to the wealthiest entities in the history of money (fossil fuel companies) to make it ever more profitable to destroy the climate, but we can’t invest in people being able to get mail?
That’s not about being able to afford it, that’s about priorities. Union busting is a priority for those with power today, and what you personally think about it isn’t. 
Does anyone remember what started the postal workers’ strike in 2011 to begin with? http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2011/06/06/PostalWorkerSupport/
And is it possible that even a cursory examination of the issues around it might offer some useful perspective?https://raisethehammer.org/article/1396/canada_post_debate_rife_with_misinformation
Every time the back of another union is broken, we all lose. Without unions, we would never have ended child labour, created workplace safety legislation, established a theoretical 40 hour work week, or created the weekend.

For being a strong union that demonstrated actual clout, the postal workers have had a target on their backs for a long time. To my mind, this is a direct assault on them, no more justified than labelling environmental activists terrorists.

Their crime: believing in a world where people who work hard get fair pay and have hope for their quality of life. That’s not a dream we are supposed to have any more.

The fact that getting a birthday card or your bills in the mail is going to become more inconvenient is just a side show.

 — atEverywhere in Canada that receives mail.

Cutting Canada Post: It’s about more than mail

DECEMBER 18, 2013

You can change the political conversation. 

Chip in to rabble’s donation drive today!

I admit it — I probably don’t use the post office as often as I could. But there’s no doubt I appreciate that it’s there when we all need it, regardless of our socioeconomic situation or location.

I also appreciate the fact that it provides good, steady, well-paid employment with benefits to so many men and women across the country.

The recently announced changes to Canada Post impact us all — and some more than others. But we should all be concerned about what it means for our national commitment to universality, and how it will further contribute to the slow erosion of our democratic institutions and sense of social cohesion.

Especially when the justification for the radical restructuring of Canada Post relies on such weak arguments.

Sure, it’s nice to have someone deliver the mail. But we just can’t afford it anymore.
Actually, no. Canada Post has turned a profit in each of the past 17 years except in 2011 when a labour dispute resulted in rolling strikes and an eventual lockout.

pay equity settlement also impacted the 2011 bottom line. It literally makes money for Canadians (even though it is a public service).

Yes, mail volumes are down — although there are more addresses being serviced — but package delivery as a result of online shopping is increasing exponentially, as Canada Post bragged in a recent mediarelease.

But I hear the pension fund is unsustainable.
Unless Canada Post has to wrap up its pension plan tomorrow because the entire Crown corporation is going under (which we’ve established is not the case), the pension fund is fully funded. If, however, Canada Post is shut down, the pension fund will indeed be in deficit and taxpayers will be on the hook.

Door-to-door service is obsolete.
Obsolete? You sure? Because Canada just became the first country (woo! We’re number one!) in the G7 to eliminate door-to-door mail delivery. 

And rather than implement cuts that are much more likely to lead to its eventual demise, there’s certainly room for Canada Post to pursue expansion and development opportunities such as postal banking.

Come on! Nobody uses the mail anymore. Because technology.
Look, the interwebs are awesome (emoticons have added so much to our lexicon).

And I admit in my house we do a bit of the online banking from time to time. But try as I might, I simply have not figured out how to get packages delivered through my computer screen.

And (’tis the season, after all) my kids are stoked when they get their letters from Santa that the postal workers volunteer their time to write each year.

They also love sending their school photos and hand-drawn cards to relatives — and we look forward each month to getting the magazines we subscribe to.

Clearly the reports of the death of mail delivery have been greatly exaggerated, even by those who should really know better.

But only one third of Canadians even get door-to-door service.
According to a handy table on page 21 of Canada Post’s 2012 Annual Report, fully 63 per cent of Canadians have their mail delivered to their homes, apartment building lobbies, laneways or driveways by either a letter carrier or a rural route mail carrier (and another 12 per cent use PO boxes or another form of general delivery). Only 25 per cent currently use superboxes.

As others have already pointed out, this decision is not about bringing a small minority of indulged Rosedale homeowners in line with current trends, as the debate has currently been framed.

Phasing out direct delivery not only impacts businesses, it will affect a tremendous number of Canadians across the country — and as a result, already-vulnerable populations will be further marginalized.

But no one’s losing their job: 15,000 postal workers will retire within five years.
Even if it does not directly result in layoffs, we will all be affected by this decision to radically downsize.

As many as 8,000 decent, secure, well-paying jobs will be eliminated, resulting in less money collected in taxes, less money being spent in local communities, and the continued reinforcement of the trend towards further job market precarity and socioeconomic inequality.

Eliminating door-to-door service for elitist urbanites just makes everything equal.
For the record: universality is about ensuring we all have access to the same quality services; not scaling back services to the bare minimum leaving us to make up the difference based on our abilities (or, you know, our privilege). Making things “the same” does not ensure “equity” — in fact, it undermines even the pretense of it.

Don’t be so lazy! Superboxes will encourage people to get out of the house and meet their neighbours.
While I agree that our sense of cohesion is being decimated through the steady erosion of social programs and the rise of precarious work, I somehow doubt — in light of increasing inequality, more job market precarity, and the continued undermining of our democratic institutions — that a superbox on the corner is going to restore our spirit of community.  Not even if they throw in wi-fi and foosball.

But: unions!
Postal workers have among the highest rate of injuries in the federal sector.

They also make a decent, solidly middle-class salary and have benefits and a pension.

These are good things, and we should fight to ensure more of us have access to them because they enable people to have a decent quality of life and work-life balance, savings and a house, as well as allowing them to contribute to their local economies and not retire in poverty.

Yes, there have been strikes — two in the past 20 years (one of which was rotating, so service was not suspended until management locked out its workers), to be exact.

And thanks to their job action in 1981, postal workers won top-up pay for maternity leave — which has since been adopted by many public and private sector workplaces, benefiting thousands of families.

Turns out their fortitude (and foresight) was worth it for a whole lot of Canadians.

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Photo: Adam Fagen/flickr

Canada Post is not on life support, it is being murdered

 | DECEMBER 17, 2013

You can change the political conversation. Chip in to rabble’s donation drive today!

Canada Post’s recent announcement that they intend to end door to door delivery has shocked many. After all, Canada would be the first industrialized country to do so. Every other G8 country seems to be able to deliver their mail from door to door, but Canada Post has other plans.

The Harper government and their lackeys at Canada Post would have you believe that mail delivery is no longer financially viable. In fact, the company has only lost money once this century, and that was the year they decided to lock out their workers.

A quick look at the numbers shows that their arguments just don’t add up.

The Canada Post Group made a before tax profit of 127 million dollars in 2012; after 2011’s lock out and after being forced to settle a 200+ million dollar lawsuit they posted a loss of 327 million dollars; in 2010 they made a profit of 443 million dollars; in 2009 the corporation had a net profit of 281 million dollars.

Anyone can see these numbers for themselves in the financial reports on Canada Post’s website. Year after year, Canada Post makes profit, and yet year after year they cry poor. For postal workers, this is nothing new; it is the same old song and dance.

Having been challenged on the profitability of the corporation, Canada Post has scrambled to find a new excuse for eliminating door to door delivery.

The new line is that the Canada Post Pension Plan is running a 6.5 billion dollar solvency deficit, forcing them to make these changes. This argument is patently absurd.

It is true that there is a solvency deficit with the Canada Post Pension Plan, but what does this mean exactly? It means that if Canada Post were to suddenly disappear, the pension plan would be 6.5 billion dollars short of being able to pay everyone’s pension.

In short, this is only a hypothetical scenario designed to test the stability of the plan. Other pension plans are not forced to meet this test and many would not pass it.

On a going concern basis, Canada Post’s pension plan has no problem meeting its obligations.

Federal regulations require that Canada Post make special payments over a period of five years in order to eliminate the solvency deficit. But Canada Post has just been given a four year reprieve from these payments.

This means that this pension deficit will not cost them a dime for at least four years. Again, their talking points do not hold water.

What’s more, the only reason for this solvency deficit is the federal government’s policy of keeping interest rates low to stimulate the economy.

The Canada Post Pension Plan had no problems before interest rates hit historic lows. Rates will not stay this low forever and just a two per cent rise in interest rates would solve this problem. It is likely that the solvency deficit in the pension plan will take care of itself.

Canada Post is creating a crisis to justify its agenda. They talk of saving money with this plan, but they aren’t being forthcoming with the costs of implementing it.

How much will it cost to purchase, install and maintain community mailboxes for over 5,000,000 addresses? How about the thousands of new vehicles they will need to purchase, insure and maintain?

Are they going to need a capital injection from the government, or do they plan to borrow more money as they did to finance their two billion dollar failure they call the Modern Post?

Canada Post’s main talking point is that they don’t want to become a burden on tax payers. Notice that this in itself is an admission that they are presently not a burden on tax payers — quite the opposite!

Canada Post Corporation has actually returned one billion dollars to the federal government over the last decade in the form of dividends and corporate taxes.

But what neither the Conservatives nor the corporation seem to want to admit is that eliminating 8,000 letter carrier jobs will cost the federal government as much as 50 million dollars a year in personal income tax.

That isn’t counting the spinoff effects of good jobs being eliminated in communities across the country.

It is funny that the right wing defends trickle-down economic theories when they are justifying profits, but refuse to apply the same arguments to the economic impact of cuts.

The Conservative government has insisted that the only option for Canada Post is cuts.

They refuse to entertain the idea of expanding services to bring in additional revenue as post offices around the world have done.

This is because of an ideologically entrenched idea that a crown corporation shouldn’t do anything that the private sector is capable of doing.

This nonsense is the reason they refuse to consider postal banking as a viable alternative, despite a recent report from Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives explaining multiple options for how they could do just that.

This is the reason they refuse to sell a broader range of products in their stores, despite having the largest retail network in the country.

The Harper government is more concerned with protecting the profits of private companies than ensuring the viability of the public post office.

Why would Canada Post want to impose such measures on itself if they weren’t absolutely necessary? It is no secret that Stephen Harper isn’t a big fan of the public sector.

So when he needed a new CEO for this crown corporation, he hired the head of the Canada and Latin America division of Pitney Bowes.

For those who are not familiar with Pitney Bowes, they are the largest private mail supply company in the world. They are also a company that specializes in picking up the pieces of privatized postal services.

Earlier this year, Pitney Bowes published a study urging the privatization of the United States Postal Service, and have been lobbying heavily to do exactly that.

Now, one of their top bosses is running Canada Post. His predecessor, Moya Greene was also a privatization expert. She oversaw the privatization of CN Rail before coming to Canada Post, but she moved on to the Royal Mail in the UK before she could finish the job here. The Royal Mail has just been privatized.

Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra was not hired to fix the post office; he was hired to destroy it.

The simple truth is that the public post office is one of the most valuable assets in the country. It occupies prime real estate in every city in Canada. Its retail network is the largest in the country, with over 6,000 locations. Its distribution network is also the largest in Canada, with thousands of delivery vans and tractor-trailers.

The private sector is salivating at the prospect of getting their hands on this network precisely because of the money they could make with it.

But in order to do this, they first need to slash the service and push it over a financial cliff. When they finally move to privatize Canada Post, they want to get it cheap.

Like this article? Chip in to keep stories like these coming!

Mike Palecek is a National Union Representative with Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).

Photo: flickr/Pleuntje

COMMENTS.

Tatjana Johnston Not good for young Moms with babies or the elderly or the disabled.
Dan Cancade Affect “millions”?
Daniel J Towsey yes millions..they are cancelling ALL home delivery. Did you sign the petition?
  • Nadia Stepanek I wish you had some truthers there to help you more.
  • Daniel J Towsey Not in this military town…
  • Nadia Stepanek Maybe you would like to try other place?
  • Daniel J Towsey I can not go anywhere and I sure can not go outside..I can not even use public transit..they do not have the tiedowns to hold my chair..I have no way to leave this place..

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