Canada Postal Strike 2011, possibly delay of Economist deliveries


in Canada, Economics, Geek stuff

My mind has just been overwhelmed by terror!

A postal strike in Canada may disrupt the delivery of The Economist. If The Economist stops being delivered, I will lose my one and only source of information about what is happening in the universe!

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Anon May 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm

I notice the email was marked as ‘spam.’

Milan May 27, 2011 at 9:11 pm

All forms of communication have problems. For email, spam is one.

For postal mail, there are problems too. Spam, for sure, and any interruption to physical delivery, and the slowness. Of course, letters are charming.

anonymous May 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm

For reasons that may or may not be related, just started shipping packages using UPS.

oleh May 30, 2011 at 5:01 am

Desperate measures call for desperate means – be prepared to purchase the Economist at the newstand.

In the 1970’s Canada experienced postal strikes. there iimpact was much more pervasive than what we are expecting. The advent of alternate communication such as email and fax is inpart responsible for the relative lack of expected impact.

. May 30, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Canada Post strike looms amid race to reach deal
Strike could happen as of midnight on Thursday
CBC News
Posted: May 30, 2011 10:44 AM ET
Last Updated: May 30, 2011 5:37 PM ET

Heather May 31, 2011 at 8:47 am

Why does everyone just think lettermail? Hello, this is the age of the internet, how many small internet businesses are there that use the Postal service for shipping. My husband and I operate websites…we ship truck tents, the impact of a strike effects us immensely. Sure, there are other shipping companies…but like UPS, at about 3 times the cost, we just can’t afford to ship at their prices. I actually don’t even know what we will do if Canada Post goes on strike!!

Milan May 31, 2011 at 6:42 pm

I buy things via Amazon all the time, and have already been affected by them switching to UPS from Canada Post.

Ottawa’s UPS depot is in the middle of nowhere (2281 STEVENAGE DR).

Since UPS makes it delivery attempts while I am at work, this makes it incredibly inconvenient for me to get mail from Amazon.

Still, the Canada Post workers do have the right to strike. They don’t have a stranglehold over anyone, since there are a number of other delivery options available.

ndn June 1, 2011 at 7:39 am

Pssst! Your registration number can still be read on the thumbnail image (second appearance).

Milan June 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Fixed, thanks

Milan June 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm

P.S. The email you enter does have a bit of importance. It is one metric used to filter spam. It also allows commentors to use Gravatars.

Dave F June 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm

As far as I am concerned, we do not need Canada Post in it present form any more.
This out-of-date organisation is full of employees that for the most part have a sense of entitlement.
Canada can and should look at revamping this entire organisation from top to bottom.
Canada Post should be made an essential service ASAP.
Fire everyone at Canada Post and rebuild, also lets get rid of union’s as they are also not needed in this country.

Milan June 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm

That opinion is not very internally consistent. If we do not need Canada Post, it cannot be an essential service.

Canada Post has competitors, so neither the workers nor management have excessive influence over ordinary people. As such, I do not see any basis for denying their right to strike.

As for union in general, the right to organize and act collectively is an important right borne by individuals. The fact that it is sometimes inconvenient for others does not extinguish it.

Dave F June 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Who care’s, I have internet, Purolator, UPS, and if need be, carrier pidgeon (unlike CP the pidgeon could most likely deliver my mail on time and correctly)
CP and Union’s are pre-historic and unnecessary.
I shall watch from the sidelines and smile at the impending demise of Canada Post and the Union’s, however long it takes.
I must say that I am grateful to the greedy workers and the power hungry union for starting this strike, they are their own worst enemy and deserve everything they get long term.
Parasites, the lot of them.

. June 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Winnipeg will be the focus of the first strike activity by postal workers if they fail to reach a deal with Canada Post by the midnight Thursday deadline, says their union.
A news release from Canadian Union of Postal Workers said the strike will begin at 11:59 p.m. ET in Winnipeg and continue for 24 hours, after which it will continue in other locations to be announced later.
“The purpose of this strike activity is to encourage Canada Post Corporation to abandon their proposals for significant concessions and instead negotiate solutions to the very real problems that are being experienced by 48,000 postal workers,” said the news release.
Winnipeg was chosen for the first strike activity because it was the first city to be affected by Canada Post’s modernization program, resulting in a sharp deterioration of service, as well as health and safety problems for postal workers due to new work methods and equipment, said the release.

wendy bochek June 3, 2011 at 4:38 am

another bunch of idiots acting like babies you were given your concessions but still not good enough, just like the three car makers in canada take a look at them they are down the tubes now and why, the union priced them right out of the market these people start at 23.00 an hr for doing 3 to 4 hrs work while getting paid for 8 can these people really aford to strike in this economy do what the did in the states with the the airlines fire all the greedy @###$%$## hire new ones and be done with it. i would love to see my tax dollars used this way instead of bowing to the greedy unions, by the way they dont lose a cent while on strike they get paid and the workers only get strike pay. this is just another reason to use your computers for mail sevices soon there wont be any need for canada post at all hopefully. have a nice holiday posties you will never be able to re-coup the money you have lost while on strike hope u all lose your jobs

oleh June 3, 2011 at 6:39 am

I am uniformed about the particulars of the strike, so do not provide an opinion at this time.

However, regarding Canada Post as an essential service, Canada Post is distinct from private couriers such as UPS, in that it considers that it has mandate to provide service throughout the country even where it is not commercially profitable.

Also in this age of alternative modes of delivery, denial of the right to strike is less justified.

One element that I have noticed how much less general anxiety surrounds a strike by Canada Post. I am sure that there are some such as Heather who wrote in on May 31 on how her livelihood is effected. It also has an impact on my work where we send out or receive about 10 letters a day. However, the available alternatives means that the clout of the union is much less than it was 30 to 40 years ago when Canada post strikes were more common.

Dave f June 3, 2011 at 7:47 am

I agree with Wendy 150%
Goodbye Canada Post & Union’s
Get a real job you lazy bas#%rds

Rex P. June 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm

…and Dave F what do you do? Why don’t you do their job?…I know you won’t last a week.

. June 6, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Rolling work stoppages take their toll
Union disputes management’s claim that mail volume is down 17 per cent over five years

Worries are mounting over the potentially disruptive impact of rotating work stoppages by Canada Post workers – the latest one in Montreal – if the labour dispute with management continues much longer. “We haven’t had any members call in a panic because of the rolling nature of the strike,” said Dan Kelly, senior vice-president for legislative affairs at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

“There’s no question there will be some delays, but if the rolling strikes continue, the system could get gummed up. There could be a cumulative impact after a couple of weeks.”

There is also fear among some businesses – particularly the smaller ones that tend to still rely on the postal system for such things as invoicing and bill payments – that the rolling strikes will escalate into a general strike, Mr. Kelly said in an interview Sunday. That could happen if there is no progress soon in talks between Canada Post management and representatives of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, he said.

Another group that is vulnerable is the charities sector, which uses the postal service to get donations in the form of cheques.

The two sides remain at odds over several issues, including workplace safety related to new mail-processing machines, reduced wages for new employees and a re-jig of how sick days are accumulated.

oleh June 7, 2011 at 11:03 pm

I understand that the part of the reason for the strike is that present postal workers are negotiating to have the same sick leave benefits for future workers. I respect the present workers for that position which does not help them directly. I also see it as a dilemma for Canada Post if the present sick leave policy is out of step and too generous. It would be quite a concession on the part of the present workers to agree to reduce those sick leave benefits.

. June 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Canada Post to cut mail delivery
Postal workers strike in 13 communities
Canada Post will cut mail delivery in urban centres to three days a week starting Monday, as negotiations between the Crown corporation and striking postal workers grind away with little sign of movement at the table after nearly a week of rotating strikes.
Carriers will deliver letters only three days a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, said Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton.
Those affected in urban centres include people who would normally get their mail delivered by a uniformed letter carrier with a mailbag. Those living in rural areas who typcially get their mail from carriers not in uniform, driving their own cars, are not affected by the reduction.
Hamilton said the move comes because mail volumes have dropped by half since last Thursday, when postal workers began a series of rotating strikes.

Padraic June 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Milan, you say “Canada Post has competitors”. That may be true for packages, but it’s not true for lettermail; the Crown corporation has a statutory monopoly. It’s illegal to compete with them. Even if one does not favour outright privatization, I think an ope market would be a good idea.

Milan June 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Fedex, UPS, and the rest deliver letters, don’t they? I have sent documents using their services.

Padraic June 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm

‘The CPC Act confers an exclusive statutory monopoly on Canada Post in respect of the collection, transmission, and delivery within Canada of “letters” not weighing more than 500 g. The monopoly is subject to a number of exemptions, including delivery of magazines, books, and electronically or optically transmitted material, and urgent letters subject to a fee at least equal to “three times the regular rate of postage payable for delivery in Canada of similarly addressed letters weighing fifty grams.’

Milan June 11, 2011 at 8:34 pm

So Fedex has to charge more than three times the cost of a normal stamp, in order to legally deliver a letter?

oleh June 12, 2011 at 12:06 am

An advantage of the present system is that Canada Post will deliver that letter for the same price anywhere in Canada. In an open market, the private companies would focus only on providing services where they would make a profit.

Padraic June 12, 2011 at 8:36 am

Why is it an ‘advantage’ for people who live in denser areas to be forced to subsidize those who live in less dense areas?

Milan June 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm

It would be good if Canada Post were less tolerant of unsolicited mail.

On the ground floor of the building where I live, beside all the mailboxes, there is a big black paper recycling bin. A majority of all the mail received by everyone seems to go straight into it, showing that the mail was totally unwanted.

. June 15, 2011 at 10:03 am

Canada Post locks out workers
Rotating strikes put corporation’s viability in jeopardy, it says
Mail delivery across the country has halted after Canada Post locked out its workers and suspended operations late Tuesday night, following 12 days of rotating strikes.
“The accelerating decline in volumes and revenue combined with the inability to deliver mail on a timely and safe basis has left the company with no choice but to make this decision,” the Crown corporation said in a statement.
“We believe that a lockout is the best way to bring a timely resolution to this impasse and force the union to seriously consider proposals that address the declining mail volumes and the $3.2-billion pension deficit.”
Canada Post says that the rotating strikes had caused losses approaching $100 million as of Tuesday’s strike in Toronto and Montreal and that the figure was climbing daily.

Sam June 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Many or all people belive that we are on strike. WE ARE NOT. WE HAVE BEEN LOOKED OUT. there is a big difference between the two.

oleh June 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Padraic, you raise a good question: Why is it an ‘advantage’ for people who live in denser areas to be forced to subsidize those who live in less dense areas?

Im my entry of June 12 set out above, I stated it was an advantage. Pershaps I was just citing a party line. At this moment I cannot think of an overwhelming advantage.

Padraic June 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I would also point out that even if you believe in the universal service obligation (USO), there are more efficient ways to ensure than a government monopoly model – see the CD Howe piece I linked to above.

. June 20, 2011 at 9:13 am

Ottawa seeks to end postal disruption
CBC News

Posted: Jun 20, 2011 7:41 AM ET
Last Updated: Jun 20, 2011 8:57 AM ET
Legislation that would send locked-out Canada Post employees back to work is expected in Parliament Monday afternoon.

A bill to end rotating strikes, which began June 3 and then became a full-time lockout on June 15, would restore postal service across Canada.

. June 26, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Canada Post back-to-work bill passes after 58-hour filibuster
Last updated Sunday, Jun. 26, 2011 10:46AM EDT

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