The Crown corporation announced in December that it would implement these cost saving measures over the next five years, while also reducing its labour force by between 6,000 and 8,000 people.
Nelson’s Brenda Muscoby-Yanke, president of Canadian Union of Postal Employees local 790, believes Canada Post should have done more public consultation before making its decision and wants people who oppose the changes to have the opportunity to have their voices heard.
The town hall meeting is Tuesday, February 18 at Hume elementary school at 7 p.m. There will be an expert panel — including Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko and CUPW Pacific Region Office spokesperson Cindy Lee and others yet to be confirmed — who will answer questions from the audience. Representatives from Canada Post declined their invitations to attend.
But Muscoby-Yanke said attendees can drop off letters and sign a petition that Atamanenko will deliver to the federal minister in charge of the postal service.
“We’ve won lots of battles, but we have to stick together,” she said, citing British Columbia’s successful repeal of HST legislation in 2011.
“Personally, I don’t want to see my mother having to struggle to get her mail when she could have it brought to her box at her home.”
Muscoby-Yanke believes Canada Post is using skewed statistics to justify reducing services and said union members at the meeting will share their perspective on whether mail volumes are down and how many people currently use community boxes.
They also have their own ideas about how Canada Post could increase its revenue through diversifying its services to more than just mail delivery. One idea, given the number of existing outlets across the country, is to offer full banking services on par with other national banks, which it used to do before 1968.
“This day in age, people need more services not less,” Muscoby-Yanke said, adding that making it less convenient and more costly to receive deliveries by mail will likely discourage some from using the postal system.
She’s expecting a large turnout at the town hall meeting and encourages everyone who has questions or concerns about changes to postal service to come out and have their say.