If you live in rural Canada, brace yourself for snail mail getting even slower.
Union official Gord Fischer, the union's Prairie region national director, said posties are worried about the effect of the change on customers. Service is bound to be slower, he warned.
“Where they used to have overnight service in Brandon (Manitoba), within city mail, now of course it’s going to be in a lot of cases delayed,” said Fischer. “It’s going to have significant customer impact.”
The union, not surprisingly, is also worried about job cuts. But Canada Post spokesman John Caine told CBC News the jobs of existing employees are secure, though the workforce will shrink through attrition.
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“As we move forward, if someone leaves, chances are we won’t replace them,” Caine said.
All mail in local communities is expected to be delivered within two days, he said.
Canada Post is has been fighting a losing battle against declining mail volumes thanks to the popularity of email, web-based bill-paying and competition from private couriers.
A controversial report released last month by the Conference Board of Canada forecast the Crown corporation faces a $1-billion annual operating deficit by 2020 if it doesn't replace the revenue lost from private mail.
Canada Post's problems mirror those of the larger U.S. Postal Service, which reported a US$1.9-billion second-quarter loss earlier this month, the Washington Post reported. It brought the loss for the first half of the fiscal year to US$3.2 billion.
The postal service's proposed cuts, including ending six-day mail delivery (which hasn't existed in Canada for decades), were blocked by Congress.