The Good News and The Brad News – June 1

June 1, 2011

Hey folks,

Welcome to another round of The Good News and The Brad News, Corner Brook’s weekly issues column. Like always, you can drop me a drop me a line via Twitteremail or the comments section below but now you can also seek me out on Tumblr!

Photo by fortinbras

On people’s minds’ this week is the possible June 2nd postal strike in this country. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has been in a strike position since last Tuesday, following their rejection of Canada Post’s terms. This was postponed by a counter-proposal from the Union to resolve the current dispute, which has in turn been rejected by Canada Post. Canada Post has stated that a strike can be avoided, but cites concerns towards rising operating costs in addition to satisfying the Union’s concerns. CUPW, meanwhile, feels Canada Post should be doing less media and more negotiating on issues of rural service, health benefits and starting rates for new employees. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service is involved in mediation between the two sides, according to a release from Labour Minister Lisa Raitt.

However, no matter where you side on this debate, one has to be aware of the impact this is going to have on area citizens. Grenfell Campus, for instance, is preparing to adopt measures to send important parcels through courier and halt external letter mail services in the event of a strike. Local corporations and small businesses too are certainly looking in to similar measures. What are you, your company or organization doing to deal with the likely coming Postal Strike?

Photo by jag9889.

As noted by Tom yesterday, we’re getting a Target here in Corner Brook, along with the other on St. John’s Stavanger Drive. What’s the issue here? Well, in spite of the lingering belief that “Target’s atmosphere exudes progress and style” over crass ole’ Wal-Mart, there seems to be similar issues with these stores. In the US, there is currently a drive to unionize workers as “many of them earned too little to support a family or afford health insurance”. Target is said by some employees to engage in similar tactics to Wal-Mart on these matters drilling a distinctly anti-union, pro-management message which Canadian Unions involved in the retail sector have been warned of.

Ok, aside from rights-to-organize being repressed, what’s at stake here? As noted in the last link, “Zellers outlets will also lay off all of their staff before renovations” who, in turn, will likely have to reapply for their current positions (as is the case for Ontario outlets). Depending on when these renovations take place, this could create economic hardships on some local families, who might not even have a job to return to. Second, wasn’t I just saying we need more local investment? Another strong multinational box store means less investment in our own backyard, no matter the spin. Target is not innately bad for Corner Brook, but we’ve got to keep a watch out for the impacts stores of this nature have. What do you think?

Final Thoughts: With Corner Brook Pride only just over seven weeks away, there is renewed cooperation between CB Pride Inc. and the Western School District. Admittedly, with circumstances of alleged negative comments from a CBRH Councillor and a cancelled public speaking appearance by artist and activist Christian Corbett, this could have ended differently. Getting past disputes to work on LGBTQA issues in schools is for the greater good of all involved. CB Pride will, rightly, be monitoring the District however. Well, chew that over Corner Brookers!

Check back next Wednesday for another exciting, issue-packed episode of The Good News and the Brad News with Brad Evoy! If you have a suggestion for an issue which you feel should be covered here, email (, tweet (@Brad_Evoy), ask on Tumblr or comment below!

Lead Photo by Michael Coyne.

  • K.

    Great article Brad.  Not sure if they all have to re-apply for their jobs though.  It may be true for Ontario stores  but wouldn’t that be a local management dealio?

    • Brad Evoy

      Possibly, but if its a directive from Corporate (particularly if thats a part of the agreement that switched over the brands in all these stores) then I would assume management would have no choice.

      If any local, current Zellers employees or management has clarification on that, it’d be great to know.