I wanted to write you to share my thoughts during this difficult period. No matter what job you do at Canada Post, our current situation affects you personally. I understand the uncertainty and strain of the last few months have made this a difficult time for everyone at Canada Post. While we continue working at the negotiating table with the assistance of the special mediator, efforts to reach negotiated settlements with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have unfortunately failed to this point to find the common ground necessary to reach a resolution. We are now advising Canadians we will make best efforts to deliver the holidays, but they should expect lengthy delays as we deal with backlogs across our network. This is unfortunate given our proud tradition of delivering the holidays, but it is our current reality.
I am therefore writing to acknowledge your concerns and thank you for your contributions and patience through this process. First it’s important to recognize that many of you are in the middle of an important and difficult discussion about your livelihoods. Something that is very personal to most families is part of a very public discussion. Yet, despite these challenging circumstances, you continue to process and deliver mail to the best of your abilities. Everyone working in our operations has done a tremendous job keeping things moving and doing their best to support each other at a time when patience and understanding can be strained. Our shipping customers have also shown tremendous patience as it is their livelihoods, and the livelihoods of their employees that are also at stake.
Throughout this period, I want to reassure you that we made all decisions with our employees in mind. We’ve tabled offers that we believe are fair, recognize the contributions of employees and respond to the union’s concerns such as health and safety, which we agree requires increased attention in every respect. Our commitment to work collaboratively on important issues with the union on an ongoing basis has been sincere. When strike action began, terms and conditions changed, but we took measures to ensure cases of extenuating circumstances and undue hardship are addressed on a compassionate basis.
We have made numerous efforts to resolve these negotiations and return to normal operation. In doing so, we had to reach a difficult balance, because we also have an obligation to keep the postal service strong and financially viable, not just for today, but also for future generations. In our efforts to find the middle ground necessary to reach an agreement, we have made every effort to be fair to employees while also being responsible.
There is still a long way to go, but this stressful chapter at Canada Post will come to an end. When we do move forward, I recognize there will be work to do to repair many relationships – with customers, with Canadians, with unions, and especially with employees. The postal service is an incredibly resilient institution, but together we must win back the confidence of our customers. Together, our service and dedication will be imperative as we regain the trust of Canadians. We have work to do to improve our relationship with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to build a strong postal service for the future. Finally, and most importantly, we are committed to always act with the best interest of our employees at heart, and ensure this guides our decisions.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, and the senior leadership team, I sincerely thank each and every one of you for all you have done during this difficult period and all you do every day to serve Canadians.
Chair of the Board of Directors and Interim President and CEO