Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Winnipeg's postal workers will continue to walk the picket lines as their union representatives meet with senior Canada Post management officials on Friday June 3, 2011.

Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press

At a time when Canada Post has seen a 17-per-cent drop in mail volumes over the past five years, the union is seeking wage increases. The postal workers have been acting against their own interests by holding rotating strikes.

The drop in mail business is attributable to the increase in online banking, text messaging and Facebook. Today, consumers e-mail money, pay bills by telephone or electronically, chat and write to friends instantly - without the fuss of stamps, envelopes and long waits.

Many find mail in paper form to be quaint; it no longer plays a central role in society. The strike will only accelerate that trend by making online converts of those who have hitherto been reluctant. More of the public will discover the faster, less costly alternatives.

Story continues below advertisement

Those that will suffer the most include businesses and charities. Covenant House, an organization in Toronto that provides shelter for children, says a lack of mail could spell a $500,000 loss in June. In the same city, the Yonge Street Mission could lose about $56,000 a week without mail service, forcing them to cut down on services.

A mail market in decline should hardly encourage workers to strike. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers are seeking safety enhancements to the workplace, plus wage increases of 3.3 per cent in the first year and 2.75 per cent in each of the next three years. Canada Post has offered 1.9 per cent increases in each of the first three years and two per cent in the final year.

Canada Post has offered pay increases that would lead to a top rate of $26 hour and has called the union "out of touch" with the challenges the Crown Corporation faces. Union demands, it says, would total about $1.5-billion over four years.

During the last strike, in 1997, the Internet was new and Canada Post delivered 11 billion pieces of mail to 15 million residential and business addresses. CDs and DVDs were a major portion of its shipments, and people still read catalogues. The workers had to be legislated back to work.

Today, we have smartphones, computers, iTunes and Netflix. Catalogues go straight into the recycling bin. An increasing number of Canadians will find the mail service is one they can live without. And with that, postal workers may be signing, sealing and delivering their own fate.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies