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Post office of the future could mean stronger communities

in Community/Environment/Seniors/Sponsored Content by

Submitted by Jean-Philippe Grenier, CUPW, third national vice president   On June 17, 2019, the Canadian government declared a climate emergency, passing a motion through parliament calling climate change a “real and urgent crisis, driven by human activity.”

This should shock no one. We already know that our country is warming up twice as fast as the rest of the world and that it is becoming increasingly difficult for our planet to breathe.

Words are not enough. They are meaningless without action. The federal government must walk the talk, starting with its largest Crown Corporation, Canada Post.

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Save community banks, save the post office: Time for postal banking in Canada

in Business/Community/Opinion/Poverty Reduction/Seniors by
The big banks are getting out of smaller communities. Is it time for postal banking?

One of the first things that the new Dominion of Canada did as a country, way back in April 1868, was create a postal bank. The idea was to create a banking system that everyday Canadians could access easily – and to serve customers that the established banks at the time showed little interest in serving. Postal banking existed in Canada until 1968.

All of the stakeholders of the postal system (Canada Post; Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA) have examined the idea of re-establishing a postal bank. The CUPW and CPAA research relies heavily on the research of consultant John Anderson. His 82-page Why Canada Needs Postal Banking published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives contains some of the most detailed research on the topic.

Make no mistake: this is research funded by CUPW. And let’s face it: CUPW are a bit of a polarizing entity at the moment. So it’s perhaps not the most strategic time to be advocating for an increased role and more responsibilities for Canada Post — and its workers — in our life. The most recent strike no doubt rankled many of us, especially those of us waiting for Christmas gifts ordered online. And we are about to get another postage increase. On Jan. 14, 2019 a stamp bought in bulk will cost 90 cents. An individual stamp will cost us $1.05. That we can — in a time of $7 coffees — mail a letter from anywhere in Canada to anywhere in Canada for a measly $1.05 will be lost on those who use any excuse to bash Canada Post. I mean $1.05! That’s a whole nickel more than a non-existent buck-a-beer! But I digress.

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Canada Post workers on strike for 24 hours; Union wants return of postal banks

in Around Town/Community/Local News/Poverty Reduction by
Postal banking was something Canada Post did decades earlier, ending the practice in 1968. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Scores of local postal workers walked off the job this morning in Lindsay and Bobcaygeon for 24 hours in a coordinated effort to draw attention to what has become a protracted strike. Calling for better health and safety conditions, gender equality, and a return to postal banking, Cheryl MacMillan, the president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) Local 564, says workers are “overburdened.”

“Parcel delivery has exploded,” she tells the Advocate, with carriers often working 10-12 hour days to finish up their deliveries. While they are paid for this, it is a forced overtime and it’s taking its toll on workers’ health, she says.

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