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Halifax and Dartmouth next to lose door-to-door mail delivery

Mum's the word for Mayor Mike Savage

by Robert Devet

About 60 postal workers and sympathizers rallied today in front of the Almon Street Mail Processing Plant in Halifax. They were protesting yesterday's announcement that after Bedford and Sackville  now Halifax and Dartmouth will have door-to-door mail delivery terminated.  Photo Robert Devet
About 60 postal workers and sympathizers rallied today in front of the Almon Street Mail Processing Plant in Halifax. They were protesting yesterday's announcement that after Bedford and Sackville now Halifax and Dartmouth will have door-to-door mail delivery terminated. Photo Robert Devet
Member of Parliament Robert Chisholm was one of the speakers at the rally. Photo Robert Devet
Member of Parliament Robert Chisholm was one of the speakers at the rally. Photo Robert Devet
President of the Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council Kyle Buott leads the crowd in a particularly energetic chant.  Photo Robert Devet
President of the Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council Kyle Buott leads the crowd in a particularly energetic chant. Photo Robert Devet

K'JIPUKTUK, HALIFAX - Yesterday Canada Post announced that an additional 36,000 homes in Dartmouth and Halifax will lose door-to-door mail delivery in 2015. This is on top of the 10,000 or so homes in Bedford and Sackville that will switch to community mail boxes this fall.

Less than 24 hours after the Canada Post announcement about 60 members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and sympathizers rallied in front of the Almon Street Mail Processing Plant.

Chris Clay, president of the Charlottetown, PEI, CUPW Local, left home at 2:45 AM this morning just to join that rally in Halifax.

"Sure that's early," Clay told the Halifax Media Co-op. "But it is worth it. We believe passionately in this, Canadians deserve this, we are going to fight to keep it for them."

Lost jobs will hurt local economies, says Michael Keefe, 1st Vice-President of the CUPW Nova Local.

"Any letter carrier depot where they bring in the community mail boxes, our estimate is that 40 per cent of the jobs will be eliminated. So in a smaller workforce like Bedford and Sackville there will be about eight jobs lost," says Keefe.

"And in Halifax and Dartmouth you are looking at anywhere from 30 to 40 jobs that will be lost, and that's just in the first wave. And then there's also support staff and relief staff that will be reduced," he says.

Keefe doesn't like what the switch to community mail boxes will mean for people with mobility issues.

If you want to continue to get home delivery, you will have to pass a test to prove to Canada Post that you are unable to travel to your community mail box, says Keefe.

This is definitely an issue for Amy Moonshadow, who was at the rally to voice her opposition to the Canada Post plans.

"Last year I was pretty quick on my feet, but since then I have had a physical injury and now I use a walker wheelchair. And it isn't easy getting around. So if I have to go a coupe of blocks away [to get my mail] it is going to be very difficult," she says.

Many Canadian municipalities have formally opposed the cuts. Here in Nova Scotia Antigonish, the Town of Truro, Cape Breton Regional Muncipality, Colchester County and the Town of Westville all have passed motions condemning the cuts .

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage and councillors have been quiet on the issue.

But not for lack of trying by the postal workers. Keefe is puzzled by the lack of support from the municipality.

"When members of the Local met with Mayor Savage in January he told us that it isn't an issue, and that he hadn't heard anything from his constituents," says Keefe.

A request for an opportunity to make the postal workers' case in front of City Council was also denied.

"It is my understanding that it's the Mayor, the CEO and the Municipal Clerk who make that decision. It hasn't even been to council, it's these bureaucrats making those decisons," Keefe tells the Halifax Media Co-op.

A rally at City Hall is scheduled for Tuesday June 24th

See also:

Going on record. Postal workers want Halifax to oppose Canada Post cutbacks

Dartmouth Town Hall opposes Canada Post cuts

Letter from a postal worker

The Postal Bank as the People's Bank?

Act now to save Canada Post. CUPW-sponsored website.

Follow Robert Devet on Twitter @DevetRobert

 


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Topics: Labour
Tags: Halifax
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