Volume 91, Issue 43

Thursday, November 13, 1997

$48 refund


Pandora's mailbox

Postal workers going on strike is about as ridiculous as paying letter carriers $17.41 per hour. Even more insane is the postal unions demand for over an eight per cent increase over the next 18 months and "absolute job security" for its members.

Negotiations continue between the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and Canada Post but a strike is still possible. The union plans to pressure Canadians into supporting their cause with this untimely and selfish act.

Canada Post is a company, not a charity. Like any other business, when demand for the products diminishes, the proper response is to decrease the supply. Technological evolution has led to a decline in demand for postal services, being replaced by email, fax machines and other computer mediated communications. There is a very simple equation: Less letters being sent = less letters being delivered = less postal workers needed.

Canada Post is a Crown corporation. The citizens of Canada own it and have a vested interest in it. Any business owner will advocate that you do not hire and pay additional employees when you do not require their labour. Likewise, any business owner will fire employees as their business and sales shrink. Although it sounds harsh, corporations do not hire workers to be nice or keep employees because they feel sorry for them, in spite of their shrinking revenues. Why should Canada Post be any different?

Is Canada Post being fair and reasonable in its plans to cut $200 million from their operating budget? Yes. The postal giant plans to reduce the number of employees through natural arbitration, transfer letter carriers to other departments and offer a voluntary buy-out for letter carriers who may wish to retire early. No one is getting laid off, no one is being hung out to dry. So what is your problem, postal workers?

In fact, the only people who suffer from the potential strike are charities who depend heavily on postal Christmas fund-raising campaigns, businesses and innocent Canadians who want to send Christmas cards to their loved ones.

The truth of the matter is, despite the necessity of a postal service, letter carriers have few marketable skills. $17.41 per hour is more than adequate renumeration for their services. If door to door mail delivery was not a monopoly held by Canada Post, but rather privatized and competitive, letter carriers would be earning minimum wage, unions would not exist and "absolute job security" would not even be a dream.

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazed@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997