North

Yukon postal workers join call to establish community banking service

Ron Rousseau, the president of the Yukon local of the Canadian Postal Workers Union, is hoping to convince Yukoners to support a national campaign to provide banking services in community post offices.

Unionized employees want Canada Post to offer banking as a way to revitalize struggling institution

Unionized postal workers in Yukon have joined their national union's campaign to establish banking services in post offices.

Canada Post offered banking services from just after Confederation in 1867 to the late 1960s.

"We have the infrastructure that covers all the communities across the North and every town in between," said Ron Rousseau, the president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers local in Yukon. 

"The services that the banks are now doing we would be looking at covering almost all of them from small loans to big loans, everything up to commercial." 

Rousseau set up a table at the Association of Yukon Communities annual meeting in Watson Lake this past weekend where he took questions from passersby. He said private banks make profits in the tens of billions of dollars each year and at least some of that should be returned to the federal government through its postal service.

The proposal is meant as a way to keep Canada Post viable as it loses more and more business to new forms of technology, he said.

Rousseau said other services could also be established at community post offices, including a national network of charging stations for electric vehicles.

So far the union has not convinced the management of the Crown corporation to support its proposals.

"Canada Post is a Crown corporation with the major stakeholder being Canada — you and I. So I think it's a positive step," Rousseau said.

"But I think it's going to be taking political action and political pressure to be actually having this done."

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