Public Values

Moratorium on post office closures in doubt: CUPW

Concerns about current Canadian-European Union trade talks, EU members to deregulate postal services by 2012.

Concern remains for small town and rural post officesCanada's postal workers are concerned a new round of rural postal cuts could be on its way.

In a follow-up letter to one sent on September 14 to Rob Merrifield, Minister of State of Transport and responsible for Canada Post, CUPW national president Denis Lemelin demanded answers to previous questions about the 1994 moratorium on post office closures, as well as current trade negotiations with the European Union (EU), a body that is aggressively in favour of privatization of postal services for all member countries.

In his September letter, Lemelin asked if post offices and outlets covered in the moratorium would remain public services and not private outlets.

Canada Post's response: "In terms of outlets covered by the moratorium, exceptional situations affecting Canada Post personnel (e.g., retirement, death, illness, etc.) or Canada Post infrastructure (e.g., fire, termination of lease, etc.) may affect the ongoing operation of a post office. The solution to address such a situation can only be determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the affected community."

The consultations offer only a one-month notice for community consultations, "definitely not enough time for a whole community to explore options in relation to a potential public post office closure."

Also of concern is the fact that the EU has issued a directive asking all member countries fully deregulate their post offices by 2012, a request made during the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) negotiations at the World Trade Organization and its plans for post offices within Europe.

Links and sources
  CUPW Letter in full

Posted: December 13, 2009

  Public services
  Front lines
  Voices of privatization

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