VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Canadians will likely remain loyal to Canada Post in the short term, but drawn-out service disruptions and an increasing digital age may be another hefty straw on the mail camel’s back, says one market analyst as a strike or lockout continues to loom.
“Preferences for using Canada Post are pretty well-ingrained and have been going on for a long time so there’s a good probability that it will not change,” says Steve Kates, an associate market professor with SFU’s Beedie School of Business.
Ninety per cent of union members have voted in favour of a strike, and management rejected a request for a two-week extension on the July 2nd strike deadline.
A strike is unlikely to happen over the weekend because as of Friday, neither side has given the required 72 hours’ notice to strike or lockout. However, in the 2011 three-week lockout, Canada Post management gave no notice.
A work stoppage would affect around 50,000 workers.
Canada Post’s efforts to paint itself as a stable Canadian employer have contributed to its ongoing success, says Kates, but the honeymoon won’t last forever if a service disruption lingers too long.
“If this strike (or lockout) occurs and goes on for a long time and it’s nasty and prolonged and Canadians start to feel Canada Post workers are spoiled, that might motivate a change in long term preferences,” he explains.
The traditional mail delivery company must also content with the increasing use of online billing and banking. With a possible lack of service, banks, the Canadian Revenue Agency and other companies have sent out letters to customers urging them to move online.
“People could decide to fill out forms on the internet more often or get their bills over the internet rather than from Canada Post. It might do that in the short term and perhaps prolong into the long term.”