The full time officers of all our locals right across the country gathered in Toronto April 20th – 22nd for the Presidents Meeting. We held discussions (occasionally heated) about the two new contracts, national campaigns and the new action plan.
The action plan discussion was very interesting. We knew that a media and social media offensive must take place for us to have any chance of waking up the citizens of Canada and uniting to save our public post office. We looked ahead to the next Charter Review and what we would have to do to be as successful as we were during the last one.
We went into the meetings aware of the announced profit for fiscal year 2012 and the spinnage that Jon Hamilton and his ilk had already begun. Apparently this profit was solely due to one off gains they made through the latest contract and if we had not ratified it the “core group of companies” (us) would have lost 50 some odd million.
Jon Hamilton got very descriptive as he continued his spin. He described the decline in letter mail as formerly being like a bunny hill but currently like a double black diamond hill where you are hanging on to your poles for dear life. He did not mention Canada Post’s revenues that way because you can’t ski uphill. You see revenues have continued to grow over recent years.
As soon as we walked out the door, leaving the Presidents Meeting behind, we were hit with a non-stop media bombardment trumpeting the Conference Board of Canada report on Canada Post.
This totally unbiased report, commissioned by Canada Post, predicts a $1 billion dollar per year loss by 2020.
One of the problems with this report, and there are many, is that it begins with the premise of a $250 million dollar loss in 2012. Canada Post themselves say that they made a profit and even without the ill gotten gains from our new contracts they would have only lost 50 mil. As the bulletin from our National office says, “If the Board cannot predict the financial results of 2012, can anyone have any confidence in their predictions for 2020?”
This completely impartial unprejudiced document was not only commissioned by Canada Post, their CEO sits on the board of directors of the Conference Board! If you check out the list you will see that other than a few academics it is populated with a who’s who of the CEO community. There is even the “President and Chief Executive Officer (of the) Canadian Council of Chief Executives”.
Every one of these members probably discuss ways in which they can eviscerate the working class, the middle class and every class other than their own as they enjoy lunch with Deepak. Hell, the very reason they make their bloated salaries is to find ways to make workers do more while accepting less.
What do we do?
Any degree of examination shows the report to be flawed and constructed to leverage more service and compensation cut-backs. This is Canada Post’s opening salvo leading up to the next Charter review. We will be facing a relentless barrage over the coming months because last mandate review we kicked the butts of the job destroying, privatizing community of CEOs and the Harper government and they do not want to lose again.
So what do we do? Well we can start by looking back at what we did last time. Our campaign last mandate review was an overwhelming victory. We mobilized our members, community activists, civic politicians and we got our message out.
I remember reading a half page piece from National President Denis Lemelin on the op-ed page of our local community newspaper! My non-postie friends and relatives brought up that article and expressed their opinions on the mandate review. It worked and the 1 percent’ers were forced into a temporary retreat. Because when it comes right down to it while the urban youth may not have any need for mail delivery it is still vital to suburban and rural Canadians and an essential service to small businesses everywhere. These are the people we have to reach just like we did last time.
This is a battle we can win.