EDITORIAL: The need for better negotiations

If Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers cannot reach an agreement, mail service across Canada could be disrupted

If Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers cannot reach an agreement by Saturday, mail service across Canada could be disrupted.

This would not be the first time mail delivery has been affected by a labour disruption. It would be the 21st disruption since the postal workers’ union was founded in 1965. The last was in 2011.

The frequency of postal disruptions in Canada is cause for concern.

Every time mail delivery is suspended, Canadians become a little more annoyed and a little more willing to consider other options.

And each year, there are more options available to the public. These include courier services for parcels and hard-copy documents and fax, email or other electronic methods to transmit information.

Canada Post is not the only choice available.

Many utility providers, financial institutions and credit card companies already offer and encourage electronic billing or statements.

Another postal disruption will make this option even more attractive for customers.

While strikes, lockouts and other disruptions annoy the Canadian public, they could also harm the postal service.

If customers, especially business customers, have questions about the reliability of mail delivery, they will look for other services.

For this reason, it is important for Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to find a better way to resolve their disputes.

If the postal service is to continue, a method is needed to keep the service operating, without strikes, slowdowns or lockouts, despite clashes in the negotiation process.

Otherwise, Canada Post could eventually be seen as something obsolete and unnecessary rather than an important service.