Queen's University

Canada Post strike

2011-07-11

George Smith, a fellow in the Queen’s University School of Policy Studies and labour relations expert, and sociology professor emeritus Robert Pike are both availabl to tak about the Canada Post strike.

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George Smith, a fellow in the Queen’s University School of Policy Studies and labour relations expert, is available to discuss Canada Post locking out its union employees this morning.

“The only surprise with this move by management is that it took this long. The union declared a strike at the beginning of June and slowly escalated it over the days. Canada Post management tolerated it for a while in hopes a settlement could be reached without a full-scale strike,” said Mr. Smith. “The next major issue is whether or not the federal government will pass back-to-work legislation, which I don’t think should be done. Now that both parties have imposed economic sanctions against each other, they should work it out – that’s the way the system works. No matter what happens, the relationship between Canada Post and CUPW workers has been harmed and it will take time to heal.”

Mr. Smith was a senior vice-president with CBC/Radio-Canada and vice-president at CP Rail before coming to Queen’s last year. He has extensive experience in labour relations and collective bargaining.

PLEASE NOTE MR. SMITH IS CURRENTLY BASED IN OTTAWA.

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Queen’s University sociology professor emeritus Robert Pike is available to talk about the history of postal service in Canada.With a looming Canada Post strike, some people are reflecting on the need for a postal service in the age of electronic communication. Dr. Pike, who has studied and written about Canadian postal history, says mail delivery was a fundamental and cheap means of long-distance communication up until the 1960s.

 

"Mail delivery was very important for national development," says Dr. Pike. “Before the 1960s, postal service was vital for settlers in remote communities to receive newspapers from outside and keep in contact with loved ones in other parts of Canada. People still use the postal service for mail, such as bills, but its use as a personal means of communication is limited now to special occasions, such as Christmas, when people send cards. Internet and cheaper telephone costs have largely replaced the mail.”

 

 

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca or Christina Archibald at 613-533-2877 or Christina.Archibald@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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