In light of another looming strike by Canada Post workers, it would appear that I am forced to scribble about this topic yet again. Several years ago Canada Post workers went on strike, delaying the delivery of flyers and junk mail across the country (along with the occasional parcel and bill.) The result? More Canadians realized just how little
they needed Canada Post. There are other mail delivery services which are much faster and more efficient (and yes, more expensive) – but the most significant change that many people made as a result of that strike was the conversion of their bills into electronic forms so that they no longer needed to wait for them to arrive in the mail. In other words, as a result of their last strike, far less Canadians rely on their services, further reducing the importance this crown corporation plays in the lives of the average citizen. And let’s face it, open up your mailbox on any given Sunday and what do you find? A wad of flyers, advertisements, unsolicited mail and junk. Once a month you’ll receive a bill if you haven’t already converted these to electronic delivery, and the rest usually goes straight into the garbage, recycle bin or fireplace. I once pondered the notion of subscribing to as many free junk mail services as possible to see if I’d receive enough free paper delivered to my door each day to heat my house in the winter. Unfortunately the paper that is used is not very dense so it does not produce a lot of heat, and contains a lot of dyes and chemicals that stink up the house when burned. After careful consideration I scrapped the idea.
Let’s look at another effect of the last strike. With fewer people using the services of Canada Post’s delivery service, the company was forced to make cuts to remain a viable business. One way they did this was the termination of door-to-door delivery across the country, replacing it instead with community mailboxes or “Superboxes” My neighborhood was built with superboxes already; our house does not even have a physical “mail box” on the building, which causes our weekly non-Canada-Post-flyer-delivery-guy to have to toss the bundle of paper I have to recycle onto our front step. Without having to go door to door to deliver mail, the remaining postal workers could cover MUCH more physical area in a given day, requiring far fewer of them to deliver the
same amount of mail and thus Canada Post reduced their workforce while still delivering the same amount of mail. Let’s review: Canada Post workers go on strike, and now there are less Canada Post workers. Take note, this is a pattern; If history teaches us nothing else it is that it repeats itself.
Canada Post had another cost-saving strategy they toyed with, and that was reducing the number of times in a week that delivery was made to the super boxes. Many people were behind this idea, because let’s face it – who among us actually goes to the mail box every day and checks for new mail unless they are expecting a package from eBay or Amazon? I for one, would be perfectly happy to receive mail once a week. My prediction for
this go round: Weekly delivery of mail will result if the workers go on strike again, further cutting their work force.