Monday, June 13, 2011

I hope CUPW craters

Overcompensated is an understatement.
By any objective measure, a job at the post office is well-rewarded, despite the weather. Research by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in 2008 found postal workers enjoyed a 17 per cent wage premium over comparable private sector jobs. The current offer from Canada Post would raise wages by 7.4 per cent, on a cumulative basis, over the next four years. Union officials are demanding 11.55 per cent — a massive increase for workers who are already demonstrably overcompensated.

As with most sinecures, however, the real advantage to working at Canada Post is in the benefits. Postal workers currently accumulate sick days at the rate of 15 per year, with no maximum. The extent of this bottomless bank of sick days is illustrated by a recent Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) bulletin that offered up the apocryphal example of “Narinda,” who has “402 days of sick leave credit.” Canada Post is sensibly proposing to buy out this improbable inventory; Narinda would receive $3,000 cash for her hoard of sick days.

Then there is the matter of paid vacation. Current full-time Canada Post employees are eligible for up to seven weeks of holiday, a prospect far beyond imagination for most in the workaday world. And the pension plan has an unfunded liability of $3.2 billion.
Update June 15, 2011: Lorne Gunter at NatPo.
Have you ever used the courier DHL? You might know it by its distinctive yellow trucks with big red lettering. It’s owned by the German post office, Deutsche Post. Since privatization in 1995, Deutsche Post DHL has grown to become the world’s largest logistics company with 2010 revenues of nearly $100 billion. It’s bigger than UPS or Fedex — almost twice the size of UPS and three times that of Fedex. And, to repeat myself, it is a privatized, former state-owned post office.

So when during the current post strike here in Canada you hear representatives of Canada Post or the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) claim that Canada needs a public-monopoly postal service, feel free to cry “Poppycock!” (Rural MPs and some business owners often make the same claim. You can call “B.S.” on them, too.)

Deutsche Post delivers mail six days a week in Germany with a far better on-time delivery rate than Canada Post.

We need a Crown corporation delivering our mail the same way we need government-owned telephone services or public buggy whip makers. [...]

There is no longer any justification for public postal monopolies.
Hear, hear.

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