Harper undermines postal service to justify eventual privatization

In Harper’s warped world, postal workers are too essential to strike, not essential enough to deliver the mail

Edmonton – The elimination of door-to-door mail delivery is the latest example of the Harper government’s attempt to undermine essential services Canadians rely on, Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour said.

McGowan’s comments came in response to the news that Canada Post will eliminate all of door-to-door regular mail service in the country over the next five years.

“All Canadians will feel the pain from these proposed changes, not just the 8,000 workers who will lose their jobs across Canada or the 1,000 here in Alberta. Seniors or people living with disabilities will be particularly hard hit,” McGowan said.

“The irony of today’s announcement is that the Harper government says that postal workers are too essential to strike, but not essential enough to actually deliver the mail.”

McGowan adds the impact will be particularly acute for smaller cities and towns that rely on postal service as a pillar of the local economy in addition to the economic impact of the loss of local employment provided by Canada Post.

“The Canada Post Corporation has already cut thousands of jobs across the country by closing post offices and eliminating rural mail delivery,” McGowan said. “What’s really frustrating is that these cuts would have been unnecessary if the Harper government allowed the Canada Post Corporation to innovate with new services, like expanding into postal banking, which has been a huge success in Germany.”

“All this has been done with the blessing of the Harper government which is deliberately undermined the postal service in order to simply create a market for full-blown privatization.”

“The Canada Post Corporation announced these sweeping changes with the blessing of the Harper government, but there’s hope. The continuing chipping away at public services and the rights of workers that deliver them increases the odds that there won’t be a Harper government after the next election.”

Members of the AFL’s Executive Council, who represent most unions in Alberta, have committed to supporting the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) in their fight to protect services for Canadians and jobs for their members.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Gil McGowan, President, Alberta Federation of Labour at 780-218-9888 (cell) or via e-mail gmcgowan@afl.org


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