Mail to be sorted in Halifax

Eric Sparling
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Change “will affect local employment”

The post office on Havelock Street employs four mail sorters. Canada Post says employees at the site have job security, but a union rep says outsourcing sorting to Halifax will affect employment to some degree. 

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.

Organizations: Canada Post

Geographic location: Halifax, AMHERST, Nova Scotia Havelock Street

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Recent comments

  • Max Davidson
    January 09, 2013 - 17:03

    And we continue to wonder "why" Canada Post service continues to deteriorate right under our noses. As for taking two days to get a letter across town? How about nearly three weeks and that is no exageration!! And of course, with all these cutbacks which are suppose to be improving the service, is it any wonder Canada Post continues to be the most profitable Crown Coroporation in Canada? After all, they do manage to nickel and dime us to death and given half the chance, would probably give up door-to-door mail delivery in a New York minute.

  • Marg Harrison
    January 09, 2013 - 11:35

    As someone in the Amherst area looking for work this is not welcomed news. One less place to employ Amherst residents :-( I think it is interesting how the goverment supported all the "buy local" ideas, but where are the ideas to keep residents in town and out of the gutters. The working poor need help.

  • Robert Anderson
    January 09, 2013 - 09:56

    Good opportunity for someone who is retired to start their own delivery service for the local mail. Chance for them to get out and about and make a few bucks

  • Tammy Rogers
    January 09, 2013 - 08:20

    This is another hard blow for our community. We can't keep loosing work in this Town. What is our Mayor doing to promote Amherst and bring new jobs to our town. What is he doing to keep the few we have left? In the last 4 yrs this town has lost over 500 jobs and the economy is hurting because of it. We need jobs