Postal strike averted, but have little impact on local businesses

By Lawrence Gleason, Local Press Writer

A threatened post office strike isn’t much of a threat to local businesses, apparently.

Assembled members of the Claresholm and District Chamber of Commerce were asked, before their Wednesday, Nov. 21 meeting, if a post office strike would disrupt their operations. Only two business owners of 10 at the meeting said they would be affected.

Shauna Anderson of Nail Lady said her supplies come by mail.

“All my supplies come by post,” Anderson said, adding that stocking up supplies in the event of a postal strike was expensive.

The post office strike has already affected some municipalities in Canada, with rotating strikes that began Oct. 22. On Sunday three Ontario locations, London, Sault Ste. Marie, and the York Distribution Centre in Scarborough and two British Columbia locations, Fraser Valley West and Royal City were on strike.

A key issue concerns mail delivery. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers have been in discussions with how to make rural mail delivery, not paid for by the hour, and urban delivery, paid for by the hour, which works out to more money, made more equitable.

The CUPW website states that with the present employee contract, “Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers will work roughly 250,000 hours without pay.”

The post office delivery items have changed with the times as well, with large parcels, purchased online and delivered through the post office, becoming an increasingly high percentage of what is delivered, contributing to increased injuries by postal workers, an issue the union seeks to have addressed.

Back-to-work legislation, Bill C-89, passed the House of Commons and was debated in the Senate Saturday with two readings of the bill passed, but a motion requiring unanimous consent for a third reading to take place failed. The Senate planned to continue debate on the bill Monday, at 2 p.m. Ottawa time.

The Claresholm Local Press has contingency plans in case of a post office strike. Subscribers can pick up their newspaper at the Claresholm Local Press office.

“Anyone out of town who subscribes can receive the full newspaper online. We would give them a temporary user name and password,” said General Manager Amanda Zimmer.

There are two versions of the online version of the Claresholm Local Press available, a PDF version and a page turning simulation.