Opponents suspect Canada Post's hand behind
opponents forget that it was the messengers that approached CUPW to
improve the industry not the other way around.
Montreal Gazette, September 7, 2005
By Kazi Stastna
Not everybody sees the drive by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to
unionize local messengers as strictly a benevolent move to improve
employee's job conditions.
Some in the industry view it as just an extension of Canada Post
Corp.'s incursion into the private-sector messenger business and an
attempt by the union to gain greater leverage during labour disputes.
Whereas customers now can easily make the transition to messenger
service during a postal strike, pressure for CUPW-affiliated messengers
to show solidarity on the picket line with striking workers might
result in greater disruption of services, argues Peter Hansen owner of
QA/Transor courier firm.
Jacques Valiquette, CUPW's director for Montreal denies that is CUPW's
The union already has about 15 units across the country that represent
workers outside the post office, he noted, and they are wholly
independent and not obliged to strike when postal workers do.
After Canada Post acquired 50 per cent of Montreal-based rush-delivery
business Intelcom in May 2001, local messenger companies accused the
crown corporation of using years of taxpayer-funded leverage to muscle
away their clients by pressing its suppliers, like law firms and
advertising companies to switch to its newly acquired local messenger
Led by QA, a longtime Intelcom competitor, companies formed an alliance
across Canada to oppose the public-private partnership.
UPS, a US-based overnight courier company launched a similar challenge
on the international stage, arguing Canada Post's acquisition of
Purolator in 1993 constituted an unfair advantage.
Canada Post recently scaled back some of its tactics to lure away
clients, Hansen says, after Daniel Hudon, who was co-owner of Intelcom
at the time of the sale and was later given an executive position at
the company, was identified as a member of the "Cigar Club" of Liberal
Party power brokers and fundraisers involved in the federal sponsorship
Sylvain Hurtubise, current Intelcom president and head of the Quebec
Association of Couriers and Messengers, did not return phone calls.