Dear Canada Post,

I’d like to start by stating I have always been with labour. I don’t side with the bosses, but this case requires unique consideration. BOTH ARE EQUALLY F%$KED. In this instance both sides are in the wrong and simply exposing how archaic the postal service truly is. The mail gets to our door in spite of Canada post not because of it.

The job is not difficult. Some of you supervise, while others sort mail, put mail on trucks and take a leisurely stroll distributing it. Your only natural enemies are neighbourhood dogs, people who don’t shovel the walk and technological advancement. Your service is on the verge of obsolescence and you know it. Sadly, our system is still somewhat reliant on the post and you’ve been able to seize up the works.

This is not an indication of how important the task is. This is a red flag reminding the rest of us of better options. E-mail is instant, couriers are accountable and nearly every office has a fax machine. Canada post has earned it’s reputation as inefficient, overpaid and dare I say unreliable. There are tough times ahead at the post. It’s most important task is the distribution of government cheques and now even that may be halted. We’ll find a way to get our magazines and older people will learn to pay bills online. You’ve forced us to operate without you. Now, don’t be surprised when the change becomes permanent.

Na zedorovya,
Danny Kresnyak

30 thoughts on “Dear Canada Post,”

  1. NO. Libraries serve a purpose. They are an extension of the education system and a hub of cultural activity. A trip to the library should be fun, educational and inspirational. If you find inspiration at the post office seek counselling from Jack Daniels and/or smith & wesson.

  2. Another potential outcome is this will trigger the Cons getting pissed with Canada Post and selling it off (and yes they can with their majority). If the union thinks a crown corp is a bad boss they should try out a private company. A private firm would hack that pension plan to bits.

  3. Everything I’ve heard and read about Canada Post has indicated that it’s been running a profit for the past ten years.

  4. Canada post should be sold. The buyer would need a big knife and a strong stomach. The reason the crown is a “bad boss” is because no one is watching the bottom line and Postal workers (management . union reps and employees) have grown fat (starting wage 24/h). Canada post is a gross misuse of tax money and needs to be handed a wake-up call. There is no accountability in the system as it exists. The post office loses, delays and destroys packages on a regular basis and we the public are expected to allow the monopoly to operate unchallenged.

    Don’t believe me? here is a story about a funny little story about mail being delivered 14 years after it was sent. F’in CUte right?

    http://www.leaderpost.com/Letter+penned+Sask+teen+arrives+years+after+death/4946784/story.html

    if that kind’ve thing happened in a private firm it’d be grounds for dismissal not human interest.

  5. Vanda,
    Nearly everything I’ve read is contrary to that. In fact, it appears to be hemorrhaging money. The pension fund was at a 3 million + loss, the circulation is down nearly a third and wages have increased while actual routes have decreased. Many postal workers don’t even have to walk anymore. Service to new subdivisions requires stuffing one communal box. It’s difficult to call this a work stoppage. Seeing how for most postal employees (management and labour) work never really started.

  6. I worked in the processing facility and let me tell you, there’s nothing leisurely about it. Best perk was losing 15lbs over Christmas working my ass off sorting heavy boxes.

    I’ve always thought about delivering the mail, but then I think about 5am wake-up times, literally months and months delivering it on foot in -30C weather (oh yeah, how leisurely), and the people I’d have to deal with on the road.

    Nope, nothing wrong with paying people a decent living wage for hard work. Canada Post: Not for Pussies. I’m not losing sleep.

  7. I think what really pisses Conservatives off is Canada Post as a final vestige of “old Canada” i.e. when just a high school diploma could work you entry into the Canadian middle class. Now that university degrees can’t even keep up, we gotta level the playing field. This is a typical condescending attack on the underclass.

    Truth is, tho, Canada Post hasn’t seemed strong since the mid-80s. With all the political drivel against the civil service, the cherished Canada of strong public institutions is withering whether we like it or not.

  8. Yeah, winter is tough…..and christmas is busy for anyone who works with the public. Do mall workers demand their wages increase? they have to deal with the actual people not just the packages. I have no problem with paying a living wage for honest work….but the gentleman I just saw on the picket line said “I have six kids…if they cut my benefits I’ll have to start paying for prescriptions out of my pocket.” Are you f’in kidding me? Don’t expect the rest of the world to pay your way because you haven’t learned the fine art of “pullin’ out”.

    As far as the 5 am wake-ups go…I had a flyer route as a kid. I made 120 a month to deliver to an entire neighbourhood 3 days a week. My rounds took me a little more than two hours to complete. Let’s do the math (3 days x 2 hours= 6 hours; 6 hours x 4 weeks= 24 hours; $120/24= 5) 5 dollars an hour. Current starting wage at Canada post———24 dollars an hour PLUS an enviable benefits package. They are paid enough.

  9. Na z’dorovya means “to your health”, n’est pa? An odd thing to end a message with, as far as Ukrainian phrases go.

    Just sayin…

  10. “This is a typical condescending attack on the underclass.”

    Really? or is it facts…..

    You have one thing right. The postal service is part of the “Old Canada” one that has been left behind by time and progress. I know many people without university degrees that make solid livings. It’s called being a part of the skilled labour market. To get a job you need a marketable skill. That way you have a bargaining chip and can say “I can do this job because I have X skill.” Delivering mail is good work if you can get it but I’d hardly classify it as a skill.

    Years ago, the blacksmith was one of the most important people in town. Sadly, the smith’s skills did not stay current with the market. Technology advanced and the blacksmith became obsolete. The postal service is similar. Nearly 3/4 of Canadians send at least one email a day (globe and mail). The actual traffic and volume of mail delivery has decreased. The postal service has not evolved to deal with the new market. Things that don’t evolve go extinct. If you don’t believe me just ask a dinosaur.

  11. Tuco,
    would you prefer if I say cheers next time?

    Cause I’m not going to. I come from a long line of Eastern Euro drunkards and we say “na zedorovya”

  12. Danny,

    Don’t be ridiculous. You can’t ask a dinosaur anything. Dinosaurs are extinct. (Stupid Danny. Thinks he can talk to dinosaurs.)

    As for your comments about Canada Post, next thing you’re going to be saying is that my poetry ‘zine which I just photocopied at Kinkos and will be distributing THROUGH THE MAIL is obsolete.

    Sheesh!

  13. Things that don’t evolve go extinct. How is this the fault of the workers and not management? You think the workers are paid enough? So do they.

    This strike mostly just to keep the benefit and wages they currently have (increases are mostly to match inflation, aren’t they asking for almost 1% a year increase?).

    A big part of this fight is to ensure future employees revive the same treatment as current ones (Canada Post corporation wants to cut new employees wages by 20%)

    Your argument seems to mostly be attacking Canada Post corporation, which is proving to be worthy of contempt. They have just locked out their employees and appear to be doing everything in their power to force the union to go on national strike because our federal government would be sure to step in and union bust if that were to happen.

    Please direct your criticism where it belongs. No one enjoys being on strike, fighting a 20% wage cut for future employees is not greed, it is an honorable cause.

  14. Oh, and like Vanda, I Also continue to read that Canada post as a whole is profitable, although I have not read how much their pensions cost (and frankly am not that concerned)

    But I guess you are getting your wish, the labour minister (Raitt) has announced they will forcibly end the strike. Canada post locks out it’s employees and gets rewarded rather quickly.

  15. “I’d like to start by stating I have always been with labour. I don’t side with the bosses, but this case requires unique consideration. BOTH ARE EQUALLY F%$KED. In this instance both sides are in the wrong and simply exposing how archaic the postal service truly is. The mail gets to our door in spite of Canada post not because of it.”

    My contempt is for the postal service on the whole. Workers and management are both at fault. Both have failed to recognize the realities of the market. Canada post is a lumbering giant failing to compete against more efficient rivals. The workers are unwilling to be flexible and continue to grab for more than is due. It is a recipe for disaster. Public funding means it is okay to be mediocre. There will always be tax payer money to secure the budget.

  16. I will just say I use Canada Post a crazy amount (personally and professionally). I really don’t think Canada Post is going away any time soon. If you think its only purpose is for paying bills and delivering magazines you’re seriously misguided.

  17. I have similar feelings. A button is being pushed, one that reminds everyone “hm, I ought to receive and pay my bills online instead of through the mail”, “UPS is faster anyway for getting this package to my sister for her birthday”, etc. People are using the mail less all the time.

  18. Canada post can be used for all sorts of things….but as my dear friend anonymous has stated, there are better options. The postal service is used less all the time. Why? Because it is inefficient and costly. Bills, cheques, and magazines are some of the few areas where CP may still have the upper-hand but this halt in service could change that.

  19. Hm, This seems like kind of a tedious rant. Summed up neatly by this statement; “Many postal workers don’t even have to walk anymore. Service to new subdivisions requires stuffing one communal box.”

    Let me guess, you feel that all postal workers are by definition lazy and those that do deliver mail do so on segways.

    So, why the hate? Did a postman bite your dog?

  20. I mailorder a lot of records from the US. Without Canada Post I’d literally be paying $25-$30 dollars for shipping alone, per transaction. I’ll be damned if I’m willing to do that. Come on back, faithful posties!

  21. What… what is this? I mean, fair enough if someone wants to argue that the union’s demands are unreasonable… but calling people lazy? Saying that someone with many kids should “learn to pull out” (I guess that’s the male equivalent of “keep your legs closed”)? Did I stumble onto some kind of crass right-wing blog?

    And can we acknowledge the existence of rural and remote communities and the importance of the mail system for them? If you think that a private company is going to provide the same service to them that CP does, just ask my rural Manitoba parents how much they enjoy their regular Fed-Ex deliveries… you can send them an e-mail about it, but that province’s private telecom company only provides them with dial-up, so it might be a while before you get a reply.

  22. Canada Post is an important to tool in our democracy. I can get a message anywhere in Canada with a piece of paper, a pencil and a stamp. To communicate with my MP I just need the pencil and paper.

    Any cuts to he middle class should be resisted. What kind of city would we end up with if the civil servants, teachers, and crown employees had no disposable income?

    I have worked at Canada Post and can attest that it isn’t easy. It is free from artifice. As a letter carrier when I am working, I am working hard. When I’m not I don’t need to try to look busy or find stuff to kill time. It’s one of the best parts of the job.

    A Public post office helps keep the other shippers competitive. Can you imagine what it would cost to ship stuff with the private guys without Canada Post?

  23. As one of many small businesses whose business is ENTIRELY based in a shipping environment, I would like to point out that Canada Post shipping costs are 30% of a courier company within Canada and without this inexpensive option, I am finished.

    Please try to remember that there are objects, artifacts, that exist beyond a digital realm, or feel free to try and eat your soup with your Iphone…or wipe your ass, for that matter.

  24. Oh Anonymous, how quickly you turned against me. I’ve never ordered toilet paper through the mail. Or wait a tick, are you talking sears catalogue?….thought people quit using them after the switch to shiny pages.

    As I have stated from the genesis of this discussion: I am not against the union. I understand they have been locked out. I understand the bosses are evil and it is the system and not the people causing the friction. Strikes suck and so do lock-outs. You know what else sucks? Being an elderly person on social assistance waiting for a cheque that is being held hostage.

    The POSTAL WORKER is a hard-working, thoughtful and family-minded individual.They put in their hours and take home an honest salary.

    The POSTAL SERVICE is a gasping mammoth struggling to keep its head out of the tar-pit.

  25. “I have worked at Canada Post and can attest that it isn’t easy. It is free from artifice. As a letter carrier when I am working, I am working hard. When I’m not I don’t need to try to look busy or find stuff to kill time. It’s one of the best parts of the job.”

    I don’t doubt that working as a letter carrier is a tough gig. I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about the Canada Post employees I’ve come across, They all seem like pretty friendly and hard working people…especially when it’s 1000 below zero and I hate going outside long enough to open my mailbox.

    After checking out Canada Post’s annual report though, It seems like they’ve got some tough changes to make in the next few years and CUPW needs to decide what role they want to play in any corporate changes.
    Mail volume is down, revenue is down and Canada Post needs to kick in another $800 million in 2010 to cover the $2 billion solvency deficit that it’s pension plan is facing.

    There used to be a trade off between the private and public sector, where public sector employees sacrificed higher income relative to similar private sector positions, in exchange for a decent pension and job security. This isn’t the case at Canada Post. CUPW employees have the best of both worlds and it doesn’t seem like a tenable position going into the future.

    I’ve been in unions throughout most of my professional life so far, and If i were in CUPW i’d feeling a bit worried about future. I’m not sure striking over benefit changes- especially for new employees- is the hill i’d want to die on.

  26. As someone who has worked in the so called “second tier” under a collective agreement I think that it is commendable for CUPW to fight against that. It is ridiculous that workers who were hired after an arbitrary date no longer have the wages or benefits that workers hired before that date get. This is what the CPC want, to lower wages and benefits for new hires. CUPW is not fighting for themselves they are fighting for the future.
    Also I can’t imagine having to pay for mail delivery based on how far it goes in Canada or how remote the community is. It may be fine for people living in Toronto who only ever have to mail or deliver packages in Toronto but it would cost a fortune to mail anything if I lived in Meadow Lake. We should be thinking about Canada as a whole, not just certain communities.
    I for one am happy that there are still some jobs left for those people who do not have a university education. We complain all the time about the prevalence of the “McJob” and how there are so few opportunities outside of the part time, minimum wage, shift work. We should at least have one decent option for people. It is either that or people may as well give up trying to get a job. Which would be way more expensive to the taxpayer.

  27. I agree completely with your first two points. Decreasing salary and benefits for new hires does seem a bit arbitrary, but its similar to what’s happened to a lot of public sector pensions across Canada. I’m fine with going from defined benefits to defined contribution plans if it means that a pension plan will be viable in the long term. It doesn’t seem like that’s the case for CUPW pensions right now.

    I agree that there should be decent jobs for people with high school diplomas, I just don’t see why we should expect the government to fill that role by providing jobs. There are probably better policy options available. To me it’s like saying “The federal government could end unemployment overnight, they just need to start paying everyone a salary”

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