Canada Post Lockout: work stoppages and unsustainable pension plans need to end

Calgary, July 5, 2016 – With unionized Canada Post workers on 72-hours notice for a lockout, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is encouraging the postal service to find a solution to their growing pension problem and urging a quick settlement before any mail disruption.

CFIB issued a letter to Canada Post president and CEO Deepak Chopra last week, calling for a settlement, but stressing that unfunded liabilities in Canada Post’s pension plan are not a trivial issue, with a $6.2 billion solvency deficit. Pension costs must be lowered to ensure plans are sustainable and don’t force rate hikes or service cuts on customers.

“While Canada Post must take steps to address its pension liabilities, the threat of a prolonged work stoppage has many small business owners worried.” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “There are a growing number of alternatives each year but many small firms continue to rely on Canada Post for package delivery, invoicing clients and paying suppliers.”

“Taxpayers and Canada Post customers can no longer afford to pay for gold-plated pensions that they themselves could only dream of,” Kelly added. “Rather than accepting the new, generous pension arrangement, it seems bizarre that the postal union would not accept a generous offer and instead choose  to disrupt their customers, motivating even more to look at alternatives, likely never to return to Canada Post. We urge both parties to work quickly to reach a settlement with a focus on ensuring the ongoing sustainability of our postal service.”

“Canada Post workers’ gold-plated pension costs are unsustainable and if they keep going it’s the customer that’s going to have to pay for it,” added Amber Ruddy, Alberta director of provincial affairs. “A deal needs to ensure that the plan is sustainable and costs aren’t downloaded to customers.”

More than nine in 10 small business owners say Canada Post’s delivery services are somewhat or very important to their business. During any work stoppage, CFIB is providing direct counselling to small business owners on other options, such as Interac E-transfer to pay or receive money. CFIB has also made arrangements through its ZoomShipR service to provide discount courier and package delivery services.

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.