April 19, 2013 - 5:00 AM
Rural community post offices might become a thing of the past thanks to possible Canada Post cuts.
Area D director Tom Siddon told Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen board members his community almost lost a small post office 20 years ago. He said residents do not want to travel to Penticton to buy stamps.
"They are going to get a shock," he said when Canada Post begins removing staff or closing down offices.
This worry comes from a letter by Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko, saying Canada Post is reviewing every post office.
"Shrinking postal outlets in response to declining revenues will, in turn, force people to go to private sector outlets where they are available," Atamanenko wrote. "These outlets are not as accountable to Canada Post and their workers are often underpaid and overworked."
Penticton postal worker Barb Perry is dealing with fewer staff at her office on 56 Industrial Ave. The local rep for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers said she's seen a lot of staffing changes in her 20-plus years working for Canada Post.
Last year her office could not replace an absent employee. Today she works with two others but one of them is about to depart. This will mean having two people fill in for three shifts.
"It makes it very hard," she said. "They are really cutting the service. They don't feel they need the staff."
In 2012 much of the mail processing in Kelowna was sent to Vancouver which meant local residents wait longer to get letters and packages.
"I've heard from my customers, it takes nine days for this letter to get (here)," she said. "I don't think it's a very effective way to sell your product."
"There are some models when they've downsized the post office until it's a hole in the wall."
To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-488-3065.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013