Strike underscores increasing irrelevance of Canada Post

The recent Canada Post strike has not done the organization many favours. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has often been viewed as a union that is relatively demanding and inflexible.

Canada Post’s relevance in today’s society has been on a slow decline even before the strike. The strike has accelerated the perception in Canadians’ minds that snail mail is no longer an integral part of their lives. While no one is expecting Canada Post to disappear anytime soon, the major role it once played in Canadians’ lives is no longer.

For some students, a generation increasingly moving to electronic mail for bills and communication, the strike has made it clearer that Canada Post will not be the organization their parents and grandparents relied on.

Students sending packages back home or waiting for purchases to be shipped have discovered private couriers that they may not have used previously. Paying extra to be ensured that it will arrive within 24 hours has made students consider using the option more often.

As a solution, though, the Conservative back-to-work legislation offered some unfair compromises for CUPW. The bill included a 1.5 per cent salary increase to workers when Canada Post had offered the union 1.9 per cent. CUPW was looking for progressive elements like maternity leave and the Conservative government created a dangerous precedent by shutting it down.

At the same time, the authenticity of the NDP’s attempted “filibuster” speaks more to the newly-elected opposition’s motivation to keep the party in the headlines.

As has been suggested previously, there are no real winners in this strike. CUPW looked somewhat childish, the Conservatives offered up a petty back-to-work bill and the NDP looked less and less like a government-in-waiting.

The Canada Post strike was not a shining moment for Canada.

–The Cord Editorial Board