Canada Post posts $270m losses in 2018

Non-recurring workforce related costs led to Canada Post reporting a loss before tax of C$270 million in 2018. The industrial action in autumn was the first major factor, costing an estimated $135 million, with the postal operator losing a further large sum thanks to resolving pay equity. Canada Post says that, “Had it not been for these non-recurring factors, Canada Post would have recorded a profit in 2018.”

Regarding pay equity, Canada Post state, “Pay equity is a basic human right and any pay disparity on the basis of gender is unacceptable to Canada Post. Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) agreed to use arbitration to resolve pay equity for Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers in 2016. In 2018, the arbitrator’s final ruling resulted in significant pay and benefit improvements retroactive to 2016. In 2018, resolving pay equity cost an estimated $420 million, of which $280 million related to previous years.” Hence, the postal operator estimates that this will cost it a further $140 million a year.

Other than the 2018 workforce trends, the postal operator saw a major decline in mail volumes and a strong growth in parcel volumes. Canada Post state, “The ongoing decline in letters, bills and statements caused Transaction Mail revenue to fall by 5.5 per cent or $151 million compared to 2017.”

Even so, the postal operator concluded, “the 2018 results confirm the strength of Canada Post’s core strategy: to grow the business by being Canada’s parcel delivery leader. Canada Post’s revenue from its Parcels business grew significantly in 2018, and exceeded $2.5 billion. Parcels generated 38 per cent of the segment’s revenue in 2018, compared to 34 per cent in 2017 and only 21 per cent in 2011.”

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