Canada Post cuts likely as Crown corporation faces $327M operating loss
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:06PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 13, 2013 11:22PM EST
Sweeping cuts may be ahead for Canada Post as the Crown corporation faces a $327 million operating loss, CTV News has learned.
In order to stay afloat, Canada Post is considering:
- reducing home delivery from five to four, or even three, days
- closing some of the 6,500 retail outlets across the country
- consolidating its 21 sorting centres to just major cities.
Canada Post has been struggling with weakening demand for traditional mail services, as people turn to email to communicate, pay bills and other tasks one facilitated by the post office.
Canada Post spokesperson Jon Hamilton said all options are on the table as the company figures out a way to remain viable in the future.
“That rapid decline is creating a postal sinkhole,” Jon Hamilton, Canada Post spokesperson, told CTV News. “And without more transformational changes, we’re going to find ourselves in a bind.”
It’s not just in Canada that postal service is suffering. The U.S. Postal Service recently announced it will cancel Saturday delivery, a move that is expected to save about $2 billion. Canada Post stopped Saturday service more than 40 years ago.
Hamilton said that future could include expanded online service and parcel shipping.
But the postal workers’ union, CUPW, is vowing to fight cuts.
“They’re cutting the link with the public and the citizens of the country,” CUPW national president Denis Lemelin told CTV. “And that’s bad for us.”
The potential service cuts come about a year after the Crown corporation locked out its workers following a series of rotating strikes, all of which was brought to an end with back-to-work legislation from the federal government.
The legislation imposed wages on the workers, but an arbitrator was brought in to help settle other issues. When the union objected to the arbitrators chosen by the government, Canada Post and the union reached a deal on their own late last year.
Canada Post says it is putting its latest ideas on the table about a year before it has to start the bargaining process with its unions for their next deal. This means service or job cuts would likely happen in 2016 at the earliest, when a new collective agreement takes effect.
With a report from CTV’s Richard Madan