Threat of postal strike isn’t what it used to be

Those of us who can remember the ’70s and ’80s will also recall that in those days, a strike by unionized Canada Post workers was a big deal.

From an editorial from the Hamilton Spectator, published May 24:

Those of us who can remember the ’70s and ’80s will also recall that in those days, a strike by unionized Canada Post workers was a big deal.

While the economy didn’t exactly grind to a halt, there’s no question that the impact was very significant. The effect on business and commerce was large. Personal banking and finance was disrupted.

Time and technology — particularly the Internet — have blown up that paradigm.

Although Canada Post remains important, particularly in sectors such as small business and for older consumers, it doesn’t loom large on the landscape the way it used to.

An unscientific poll on our website Monday found just 31 per cent of respondents viewed a mail strike as a major inconvenience, while 19 per cent said it would be somewhat inconvenient, 21 per cent said its impact would be minor and 29 per cent said it would have little if any impact.

There is a lesson here for Canada Post and its 45,000 unionized postal workers, now negotiating a new contract. Failure to do so could result in the first strike since 1997.

That’s a scenario the company and its unions need to avoid.

No one will win, and the outlook for Canada Post and its workers will be worse when it’s over.