St. John's Mayor Dennis O'Keefe is throwing his support behind local members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, and their push to fight a Canada Post plan to eliminate home mail delivery.
"Good, dependable mail delivery is a service that we all have a right to enjoy," said O'Keefe.
O'Keefe met with Mike McDonald and Craig Dyer, members of the local branch of the postal workers' union on Friday, to hear their concerns about Canada Post's plan to eliminate home mail delivery within the next five years. The Crown corporation also said it would significantly increase the cost of mailing a letter.
The Crown corporation made that announcement on Dec. 11, catching workers and the public by surprise.
McDonald said Canada Post management has been resistant to ideas from its unions on how it can operate more efficiently.
"We come into meetings and tell them we have a cost-saving idea and we think we can generate some new revenues and they just kind of brush us aside and say 'no, they have a plan.' Obviously, we know their plan is to drive Canada Post into the ground."
O'Keefe said he does not believe Canada Post's claims that it is in financial freefall. He said Canada Post has made money in all but one of the past 10 years.
"If I was in a business and I determined I was going to reduce my service to my customers and I was going to increase the cost by 60 per cent, then I'm certainly not building up a business. What I'm doing is preparing for its demise."
O'Keefe said he will personally make it tough on Canada Post to get council approval to install more super mailboxes in the city, if door-to-door delivery is eliminated.
Local union members have planned to hold a meeting on Jan. 7 to organize public support from people who want home mail delivery to continue.