In 2007, Canada Post announced a $1.9 billion investment to modernize the post office through the purchase of new equipment and machines that will result in major changes to mail sortation and delivery. These changes, the most important since the mechanization of the post office in the 1970s, will transform the work of postal workers for years to come. All job classifications will be affected in the urban operations bargaining unit. Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMC) will also be affected. Canada Post believes it will eventually recover the costs of this massive investment through huge productivity improvements. That increased productivity could eliminate jobs in every community and in every local.
At one point in time it could be said that Canada Post was at the leading edge in terms of postal technology, however, in the past two decades, other postal administrations such as the United States Postal Service (USPS) have managed to “leap frog” ahead. Canada Post chose to purchase discarded equipment from other postal administrations (such as the recent example of the problematic Bar Code Sorter from the USPS) rather than being proactive and investing in the future.
In the case of Winnipeg, the current building was woefully inadequate and deteriorating to the extent that workers there were seriously concerned about their health and safety.
In the recently published final report of the Strategic Review Committee, the panel members concurred that infrastructure change was long overdue at Canada Post: “Canada Post has significantly under-invested in its infrastructure, both in terms of dealing with obsolescence issues and keeping its plant and equipment current.”
The real issue is ensuring that workers...