THUNDER BAY -- Wendy Johnston doesn’t want Canadians to lose door-to-door mail delivery.
The president of the Local 620 branch of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers says people value having items hand delivered to their doors and being able to retrieve mail from the boxes on their front steps or end of the driveway.
“People are really supportive of door-to-door delivery. People want to keep that,” Johnston said prior to a walk to protest the loss of door-to-door mail delivery.
“A lot of people are really appreciative. When you’re out on the street talking to customers they’re very friendly. You get to know people and see what’s going on in different areas. We’re the eyes on the street.”
Last fall the federal government announced a five-year plan to counter what they project to be a $1 billion loss at Canada Post by 2020. Included in that plan is the phase out of home delivery.
Johnston doesn’t believe the Crown corporation is hemorrhaging money to the tune of what the federal government is predicting.
The local walk, which was held on Saturday morning in the Intercity area, was just one part of a national initiative to raise awareness about the looming cuts to the postal service. Across the country, the union wanted to walk one million kilometres.
As more people switch to online statements and records while electronic communication has rendered personal messages largely obsolete, Johnston says there are still other important uses for door-to-door delivery.
“Mail is changing. Sure, letter mail isn’t as big as it was years ago, there is a decline,” Johnston said.
“There are other things like the packages you’re ordering online.”
She says the proposed community boxes present a security risk, leaving private packages and valuable financial and personal information vulnerable.
The cuts, which were announced last fall, are estimated to axe more than 6,000 postal worker positions across Canada.
Johnston estimates the amount of letter carrier positions in the city could drop by 70 per cent, with the total number of positions dropping from 250 to perhaps less than 100.