The Coffee Break. 11 December 2013
Canada Post, the national postal service for Canada, has announced that they will be phasing out their door-to-door home mail delivery for urban homes citing the need to reduce costs, and to balance their budgets. According to the news article from CBC, the postal service has reported a loss in revenue over the past few years, and as such is looking to reduce their expenses by cutting door-to-door urban home mail delivery. Now the public’s response – and indeed some MP’s responses – have largely been negative, citing the loss of jobs and services is unacceptable at a time like this. Adding to the loss of the door-to-door mail service is the news of price increases for stamps to a dollar a piece, or 82 cents per sheet.
Now one can easily go with the crowd and say “yeah, this is bad, everything is going wrong with the world,” but one does not need to look too far into the past to see this sort of service being phased out as time moves on. Indeed the milkman delivery service ended when supermarkets entered the picture, and people eventually adapted to the situation where they had to physically go out to buy their groceries, rather than have the items delivered to their homes. The key issue here is that the change is coming at a time when the economy is still recovering, and jobs are scarce in certain situations. However with technology replacing conventional letters and so forth, people are turning away from postal services when they need to send out messages to business contacts, friends etc.
Now this does not mean that when you order something from Amazon, you will have to go to Amazon’s headquarters to pick it up. Delivery services for parcels will continue, but your regular flyer, or letter from grandma will probably wind up at either a post office, or a community mail box where there is ten to twenty household mail boxes stacked on top of one another. The community mail boxes are similar to an apartment lobby mailbox in that you simply have to go downstairs to a “mail collection” room or space, and get your mail from there. Suburban residents will probably still have their door-to-door delivery, but when it comes to people living in town homes, or urban neighborhoods, your mail will have to be picked up from a lobby-like mailbox.
Now town homes and apartments have nothing to worry about: nothing will change. The mailboxes used in those situations are essentially what Canada Post wants to transition to for everyone living in an urban setting, like Vancouver for example. Government documents like passports will still require you to go to the post office to pick them up.
Yeah nobody wants to see the postal workers out of work, but times are changing. Indeed they do deserve to keep their jobs, perhaps move them to warehousing, but ultimately door-to-door delivery is becoming a thing of the past. Indeed the union is against this move, as it is their duty to do so, but they are fighting against the clock here because postal workers are no longer needed in massive numbers. Sure people with disabilities will have difficulty, but then you can re-assign the workers to deliver to them specifically? Able-bodied citizens can pick up their mail while the postal clerk keeps a chart of who is disabled etc, and delivers their letters to them in that regard.
Change has intended, and unintended consequences, but ultimately this move is designed to cut costs and balance the budget. Should Canada Post have thought of another way? Maybe, but in the end being at the head of an organization is quite stressful, and often at times people will hate you, even when things are good. Such is the nature of things. The link to the story is located below this paragraph.