You know what bothers me the most about the Canada Post labour dispute? As in the past, it’s the fact that you and I, members of what’s quaintly referred to as the general public, are not privy to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me. All we know is what we hear on the radio, see on tv and read in the paper. And what we hear, see and read is what both sides in the dispute have spun for the media to pass on to the general public. Of course both sides want sympathy for their cause and will try to appear the victim and make the other side look like the bad guys.
The union uses phrases like the company will try to starve the workers into submission. The company says union demands will cost taxpayers an extra $1 billion if implemented. The company says the impasse is mainly about changing the pension plan for new hires. The union says the main sticking point is wage disparity between urban and rural postal workers. Who do we believe? There are usually three sides to every story, the company side, the union side and then there’s the truth somewhere in the middle. I’m not sure why urban postal workers get more than rural but can’t offer an opinion because we don’t know the whole story. As for pensions, anyone who has a defined contribution plan now, or no pension plan at all, has zero sympathy for anyone with a cushy defined benefit plan. As we go forward from this latest labour dispute, let’s hope our national postal service figures out its role in the 21st century and provides a service to Canadians that is relevant and useful and doesn’t cost taxpayers an arm and a leg.