Postal Union denounces closings

Morgan Lowrie
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The announcement by Canada Post that they plan to close the post office on Sherbrooke and Victoria in Westmount, along with others in NDG and Snowdon, has been met with anger by the postal workers’ union.

The Sherbrooke St. West location is one of three post offices slated to close. The other two are located in NDG and Snowdon. The Examiner will be following up on this story. Let us know how you feel by sending us your emails to: examiner@tc.tc.

“We denounce this way of doing things,” says Alain Duguay, President of the STTP, the union of postal workers. “Canada Post is opening franchises in existing stores and pharmacies, they reduce the hours of the main post offices, and then they call consultations saying that they are no longer profitable.”

In a statement, Canada Post listed its reason as “to help ensure the long-term sustainability of Canada Post while continuing to provide customers with reliable, affordable and accessible postal service.”

Canada Post pointed out that there are over 20 other service counters within a few kilometres, including in the Pharmaprix on the corner of Sherbrooke and Grey, as well as on Greene Avenue.  It pointed out that these often have longer opening hours for customer convenience.

Duguay says that the service in the pharmacy counters is not comparable to those of the post offices, and that the well-paid employees can better help customers. “The people in the post offices know the system, they are committed, and they take their jobs to heart.”

Instead, he thinks post offices should be increasing their services, instead of shutting down. “They could make it so all the post offices could handle passports.  In the past, some of us handled student loans, and now almost none of us do.”

He said that the elderly population in Westmount could be most affected.

He said that the elderly population in Westmount could be most affected.

“Now people will have to walk farther, and they will be in a cramped corner instead of a nice big space,” he said.

He said that, although no jobs will be lost directly, there will be a loss by attrition.  A list provided by Duguay shows that the Victoria post office is one of 28 to be closed since the beginning of 2012.

Canada Post has announced a one-month consultation process, which will last until February 15.  Residents can visit canadapost.ca/retail to express their views on the issue.

As for Duguay, he says that he would have preferred a true consultation process with the community, but he is nonetheless hoping that residents will express their opinion.

“If there is a really strong reaction from the community, there is a chance we stay open,” he said.  “If not, they will close us for sure.”

Organizations: Canada Post, Pharmaprix

Geographic location: Sherbrooke, Greene Avenue, Westmount Victoria

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