What’s that old motto? “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds.”
Oh wait, that’s the US Postal Service. As for Canada Post, we’ll find out Monday if similar terms apply.
It looks like both sides in this latest conflict involving the corporation, which recorded a $63-million profit last year, have dug deep trenches and terms like “bully bosses” and “unscrupulous” are being lobbed. Pensions and gender pay equity are among the issues.
After Canada’s 50,000 postal workers voted 94 per cent to strike, Canada Post issued a 72-hour lockout notice and the lockout is now expected to take effect Monday (July 11).
The strike/lockout seems like a certainty. We will, of course, be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t happen. But, like the BCTF and the provincial government, Canada Post and its workers share a genetic imperative to “have it out” every so often.
If it goes ahead, this will be the fifth major strike in three decades. The last one, in 2011, lasted three weeks, ending only when the government ordered the postal workers back to work. The others were in 1997, 1991, and 1987.
Fortunately, according to a Government of Canada website, “essential mail” such as child tax benefits cheques, disability benefits, Old Age Security Pension, Canada Pension Plan and veteran benefits cheques will still be delivered on the 20th.
But hopeful university applicants sending out transcripts, and small businesses that rely on snail mail, have to be wringing their hands over this.
Two good reasons why we hope the employer and union keep the clownery to a minimum and get back to negotiating.