Postal Workers Speak Out Against Harper’s Privatization Plan

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Friday July 11 2014

For Immediate Release

OTTAWA - The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is reacting angrily today to news that the Prime Minister’s office recently researched the privatization of public postal services.

“We suspected the Conservatives were interested in privatization all along,” said Denis Lemelin, CUPW National President. “First they convince the public the service is in trouble, and then they sell it out from under us. If privatization happens, the public will lose an important and valuable service. We will not allow this to happen.”

Blacklock’s Reporter obtained the heavily censored document via an Access to Information Request. Senior staff sent a secret memo to Stephen Harper that discussed the privatization of U.K.’s Royal Mail just two months before Canada Post announced its radical cutback plan, including the elimination of home delivery. The Harper government endorsed the cuts despite widespread public opposition.

“By letting Canada Post eliminate door-to-door delivery, the federal government is making Canada Post more attractive to private sector investors by cutting the cost of operating the post office,” said Lemelin. 

The secret memo reported that the controversial sale of Royal Mail, which created a scandal due to the artificially lowered prices of the shares, only benefited large businesses and “other postal consumers did not benefit as prices increased and delivery efficiency declined.” The memo also noted that Royal Mail’s obligation to deliver universal service to all its citizens had been severely risked.

“The only efficiency that privatization achieves is efficiently transferring money from the public treasury to private pockets,” said Lemelin.

“The majority of us will see even more rising prices and worsening services if our public post office is privatized.”

The union is writing to the Prime Minister’s office to request that Stephen Harper assure Canadians he has no plan to privatize postal service.

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For more information, please contact Aalya Ahmad, CUPW Communications, 613-327-1177 or aahmad@cupw-sttp.org .