Speak up to save mail service, Sudburians urged

It was a small but passionate group that came out in support of Canada Post workers Wednesday evening.

Approximately 40 people showed up at the Steelworkers Hall for a town hall meeting on the Crown Corporation’s plan to change its service model. The meeting served as a call to action to the public to demand the service stay as is.

Two weeks before Christmas the company announced an aggressive plan to save money, including phasing out home delivery in urban areas over the next five years (to be replace with community mailboxes) and increasing the price of stamps.

From 6,000 to 8,000 jobs will be cut as a result of the changes, though Canada Post has said 10,000 to 15,000 people are expected to retire by 2019.

Speakers at Wednesday’s town hall weren’t buying it.

This article was published by the Sudbury Star on January 22nd, 2014.  To see this article and other related articles on their website,  click here. 

“This is a service that we do not want to lose in Sudbury,” said Pat Douglas, chair of Sudbury’s Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP).

“Can you imagine older seniors having to go up to their area mailboxes (in this weather?) I can see in the subdivisions when they’re planned, put the area boxes in there.

“But where I live, in the West End … where are they going to put those boxes?

I really think that, as Sudburians, we have to fight to keep this service. I’m concerned about all these people here losing their jobs as well. We don’t need any more of that happening in our city.”

Brenda McCauley is the national president of the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA), which represents Canada Post employees in rural offices. These changes, she said, are proof the government wants the existing offices to fold.

“Canada Post management has been setting us up to fail. Along with an announcement of the price increase and reduction of service two weeks prior to Christmas, this caused a lot of disgruntled customers at our busiest time of year.”

CPAA has seen 150 of its post offices shut down since 2006, McCauley added.

“This is not just about union jobs. It’s about a better life for all Canadians. CPPA believes in the value of rural living. Rural Canada should be a place where Canadians can experience an affordable lifestyle, earn a living and raise a family while enjoying the basic infrastructure, which includes equitable postal service.”

Jamie West, president of the Sudbury and District Labour Council, urged residents to stick up for each other.

“One of the things that makes me proud to be Canadian is we take care of each other,” he said. “We’re drifting away from that, that social responsibility. We’ve got to get back to it and start taking care of each other. We’ve got to support each other and stop putting the blinders on and saying well, what does it matter?

We’ve got to stop with the divide and conquer and start supporting each other … we’ve got to wake up to what’s going on.”

© The Sudbury Star