Thursday, June 2, 2011

Postal Strike

There is talk of a postal strike in Canada. 

So much of our daily lives are conducted online now - is a strike really that big a deal?

On the news last night, they interviewed several people.  Many of the young folks said no, it's not a big deal.  They pay all of their bills online, communicate online and never use the postal system.  So a strike, in their opinion, will have aboslutely no affect on their daily lives.

Then they interviewed a gentleman who requires a lot of prescription medications.  He saves his receipts and mails them to his insurance company every month.  They mail back a cheque. He is going to be affected.

As soon as I heard postal strike, I thought: this had better be over before July.  Because July 1st is when I receive my next quarterly cheque to help cover the cost of my insulin pump supplies.  I count on that cheque.  It doesn't cover everything but it certainly helps and it is part of my budget calculations.  Delay that cheque by a month and things are going to be pretty tight.

I work with people who have a developmental disability.  Many of them receive a monthly cheque that is their only source of income.  And trust me when I say that they are not in a position to save money in case they run into a tight spot.  They live dollar to dollar.  A few days delay in a cheque would be a very big deal.

GST rebates, pension cheques - not everyone has the option of doing all of their banking online. 

The news last night got me thinking.  It's natural that, when something doesn't affect us, we don't worry too much about it.  And yet, a change to any service undoubtedly affects a lot of people. Strikes affect those who are striking and those who rely on the service that they provide.

Suddenly this looming postal strike seems very very scary.

Here's hoping that things work out today.  That discussions are positive and solutions are found that work for all sides.

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