Kelowna postal workers to rally support for cancelled door-to-door service

Local postal workers are planning a rally to coincide with a Save Canada Post tour arrival in Kelowna.

Don’t expect door-to-door mail delivery to end without comment.

Members of the local branch of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers are planning a rally to coincide with a Save Canada Post tour arrival in Kelowna.

The tour started last month in Newfoundland and, when completed, will have made more than 80 stops across Canada in hopes to raise awareness about the cuts to Canada Post and support for a petition in opposition to them. Kelowna will lose its door-to-door service in 2016.

“The decision to end door-to-door service will really affect this community,” said Patrick Ward, president for Kelowna Local 760 of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

In addition to an inevitable loss of well-paying jobs for postal workers, and the spin-off that will have in the local economy, Ward said community mailboxes don’t offer the support that the community has long relied upon. He is also puzzled about the Crown corporation’s decision to raise the price of postage.

The question Ward can’t help but ask, is why?

“There’s no reason for making these cuts,” he said. “Canada Post made $200 million last year, but they say if it went bankrupt tomorrow it wouldn’t be able to pay all the pensions. Well, it’s not going bankrupt tomorrow.”

The volume of letters going through the national postal service has dwindled, and will likely continue to do so, but Ward said decreasing services and raising the prices won’t help get them back on solid ground.

“If any private business operated that way, they would have the CEO’s head on a platter,” he said. “There is no reason for Canada post doing what they’re doing unless they’re trying to destroy their service.”

While the cuts will likely go through if there is no change in government, the NDP and the Liberal parties have said they oppose the measures taken.

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair said, if elected, his party would force the Crown corporation to bring back door-to-door delivery through legislation, if there was no other way to reverse the recent cuts.

Canada Post has seen mail volume decline by more than one billion pieces between 2006 and 2013.

It has been suggested that Canada Post could offset those losses by introducing more services to boost revenue, such as postal banking.

A date for the rally has yet to be set in stone, though Ward said it will be August 18. This space will be updated when the date is know.

Kelowna Capital News

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