With technology on the rise and paper being used less and less in our world, people tend to think that mail carriers like Canada Post are outdated and archaic. But that's actually not the case. With things like online shopping on the rise, we need mail and parcel delivery more than ever.
That's why it's scary to realize that Canada Post could be going on strike by the end of this month. The nation's official mail service announced today that its workers could be going on strike or experience a lockout since their contract is up for renewal. If they do, it will have a huge impact on Canadians.
If this whole Canada Post strike situation seems like deja vu, it's because we went through this same thing two years ago. In August 2016, Canada Post was hours away from striking before a deal was eventually reached, but the looming strike had a lot of people worried about what would happen.
Among those most worried were actually business owners who depended on the mail service to ship their goods to customers. On an Amazon forum, one seller wondered if they would have to temporarily close their shop down during the strike. Surprisingly the most popular answer was that they would.
As it turns out, according to sellers on the forum, despite a strike Amazon still expects its sellers to meet delivery standards and will not remove any negative reviews the shop gets because of the strike. This leaves sellers with two options, either put their shop in vacation mode or switch to a different albeit sometimes more expensive courier.
Amazon sellers weren't the only ones worried. On a Reddit post, a Canadian small business owner was really worried about the strike since having to change to another delivery service, such as Puralator, would double their shipping costs, reducing their profits basically to zero. Another Canadian business owner expressed similar concerns, saying that any other service was way too expensive to even consider.
While those were strike concerns of Canadians over two years ago, there's nothing to suggest that a Canada Post strike now would yield any other results. Business owners would still have to find alternatives shipping options to meet customers' demands and that could be detrimental to their profits. But they aren't the only ones worried right now.
Even large corporations are taking early measures to prepare for the potential postage strike. Huge nationwide companies like Bell are trying to get ahead of the strike action by sending emails to customers today making them aware of the impending strike and urging them to sign up for online bill payments saying that Bell won't waive any late fees because of the mail strike. Ontario and Quebec hydro have also sent out similar notices to customers.
Aside from all the impact to businesses big and small, there is also a simple, and more personal fact to all this that we as Canadians won't receive our mail in the event of a strike. While email and digital communications have become the go-to form of connecting, if you wanted to send or receive a letter, birthday card, or care package in the mail, you'd be out of luck.
In the event of a Canada Post strike, private couriers will still be an option, but the simplicity of dropping a letter into a red box on the street corners will be temporarily and inconveniently unavailable.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is in a position to begin strike action as of September 26 if their contract demands are not met. Contract negotiations between the union and Canada Post have been ongoing, but the two sides have yet to reach an agreement.
The last time Canada Post was actually in a strike/lockout situation was in 2011 when workers were locked out by Canada Post. They eventually returned to work only after the federal government introduced legislation forcing them back.