Thursday, December 19, 2013

Can the U.S. learn from Canada's decision to end all door-to-door mail delivery?

While the U.S. Postal Service seeks ways to save money, including its continued push to eliminate Saturday delivery of first class mail, our neighbors to the north have come up with a way to solve their post office's financial difficulties. Within five years, door-to-door mail delivery in Canada will be obsolete, replaced "with community mail boxes in central locations" and Canada Post "will also cut 6,000 to 8,000 jobs in the postal industry, and raise the price of the postage stamp by 22 cents," reports NPR. The delivery change is easier up there than it would be down here; only 5 million of the more than 15 million addresses in Canada get home delivery. (CBC photo: Community mailboxes)

Rosemary Barton of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation told NPR's Jeremy Hobson, "The thing that is going to make the most savings is stopping this door-to-door delivery. Most people will transition now to those big super mailboxes that you have at the end of a few streets, and they are also going to, as you've said, raise the price of stamps."

As in the U.S., other proposed solutions by Canadian officials included cutting the number of delivery days, Barton said. "This way, they think that they're helping people. You can still get your mail every day. You just won't get it at your door." (Radio Canada International graphic: Mail delivery in Canada)
The move, though, is not popular among postal employees and their union, Barton said. "They've got 15,000 workers set to retire in the next five years. . . . They are extremely well-paid jobs with big, fat pensions attached. And so the union is already up in arms, because they'd like to keep the positions, obviously, and they say that people should stand up and fight to keep their mail coming to their doors." (Read more)

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