AMHERST – It’s just a matter of time.
Canada Post is centralizing its mail sorting. While mail sorting continues to be performed in Amherst, that’s going to change at an unspecified time in the future (the change has already occurred in some other Nova Scotia towns).
“It will affect local employment to a certain extent,” said CUPW president Marty Davidson.
The union leader represents 30 employees at the Havelock Street site, four of whom sort mail. Mail sorting will take place in Halifax in the future. A letter sent to your neighbor down the street will take a trip to Halifax first.
Davidson said the theory is that mail sent to Halifax will be back the next day, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
In the seven years the president has worked at the post office, he’s seen an attrition approach to downsizing (positions aren’t filled when they become vacant). He gives front counter service as an example: it used to have four employees and now has two.
John Caines, spokesperson for Canada Post, would not speculate about when the sorting change would take place, but described the shift as internal.
“Our delivery standards are two days (for) local (mail)” he said.
Caines said Canada Post’s goal is improving efficiency.
“We’re doing this all across the country,” said the spokesman.
He said the jobs of employees are not threatened but didn’t offer an opinion about plans for downsizing as employees left or retired. As mail volume declines, ways to be more efficient need to be found, Caines claimed.
Postal positions are good jobs, according to the union rep, Davidson; losing them would be a blow to the affected worker but also the community.
Davidson said mail use is down and cut backs are common knowledge.
The postal worker thinks there’s still value in raising objections to the changes with those who can impact policy.
“Anything would help,” he said.