Posties protest retail downsizing in Chilliwack

The changes in retail configurations are set to hit post offices across the country in the coming weeks.

A small protest was held outside the post office in downtown Chilliwack Monday morning to warn the public about potential downsizing impacts.

A small protest was held outside the post office in downtown Chilliwack Monday morning to warn the public about potential downsizing impacts.

Canada Post is calling its new downsizing effort a “Postal Service Centre” model.

The changes in retail configurations are set to hit post offices across the country in the coming weeks.

Posties are calling it a “hole-in-the-wall” approach to describe what the new cutout service windows will actually look like.

“You used to be able to walk in to the Post Office in Chilliwack and see nice displays,” said Peter Butcher, president of the Upper Valley local of Canadian Union of Postal Workers. “That will all be gone by the end of the month, if plans are executed they way they have been announced.”

Some CUPW members met with management, while others held a small protest outside the post office in downtown Chilliwack Monday morning to warn the public about potential downsizing impacts.

The goal was to emphasize the concerns they have about the reconfiguration plans, and the possible effects on customer service and local post office jobs.

“Everything will be done online and they won’t have products displayed any more,” Butcher said. “I think people will only be more frustrated by this.”

Staffing at the downtown Chilliwack retail post office is set to be reduced from the current two employees to one, but no one will lose their job over this, and collective agreements will be respected, underlined the Crown corporation in an emailed response.

There will only be one retail point of sale system, or one cash register in Chilliwack, rather than two, according to Canada Post.

But Butcher said there was always three staff positions at the Chilliwack Post Office in the past, that will now be cut to just one.

The downsizing announced in January, including the end of home delivery, will affect service quality, local economic activity and wait times at the retail level, he said.

But Canada Post officials say despite the concerns, the Chilliwack post office will remain open and its “most popular” retail services maintained.

“We do plan to introduce our new Postal Service Centre model at the Chilliwack Post Office,” confirmed Canada Post spokesman John Caines this week.

“While the exact date is still to be determined, we expect to be operational within the next couple of months.”

The reason is rapidly declining letter mail volumes. They’re down in volume by 20% over the last five years, which has hit the Crown corporation’s bottom line, and necessitated the changes.

The new configuration is expected to “maintain service to customers” while offering more efficiency, said Caines.

“Postal Service Centres make good business sense — customers continue to be well served as Canada Post adjusts its retail business model to reflect business realities,” the Canada Post rep wrote in an emailed message.

Butcher hopes citizens will join the Posties in taking a stand against downsizing, by writing MP and Canada Post critic Robert Aubin, in the House of Commons, Ottawa, Ont., K1A 0A6.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno

Just Posted

Chilliwack Fire Department on scene at a house fire on Boundary Road and No. 4 Road on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (David Seltenrich/ Facebook)
Fire crews respond to house fire on border of Chilliwack and Abbotsford

Flames, dark smoke reported coming from front of house when crews arrived

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

Pig races at the 147th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 10, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack Fair plans in-person event for 149th annual exhibition

Will be first large-scale, in-person event in over a year, provided regulations continue as planned

Vivian Le is one of two local recipients of a Beedie Luminaries scholarship.
Chilliwack students overcome adversity to win Beedie Luminaries scholarships

Sardis secondary’s Vivian Le and G.W. Graham’s Alisa Gusakova are among 112 students receiving money

Crews work on the construction of Stitó:s Lá:lém Totí:lt near the Vedder River on Thursday, April 1, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack School District shuffling catchment areas as Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt construction continues

SD33 is looking for public input about proposed catchment and feeder school options

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read