Postal strikes, crankiness, and the Internet

Early in my career, what seemed to be an annual ritual was the social hysteria around a possible shutdown of the Canadian postal service?  It was probably every other year or maybe every third but it felt like an annual event.  When strikes actually happened, there were enormous disruptions to endure for businesses and individuals.  The Post Office and union would eventually agree to terms, often under government legislated binding arbitration, which would result in increased rates for stamps, some erosion of service, and just a general overall crankiness between all sides.  These events and outcomes were predictable and feared.  Not so anymore.

It may have slipped your awareness but Canada is on the cusp of another postal strike this week.  My purpose with this post is not to take sides.  I care very little about this because, frankly, the service means very little to me.  I employ the Internet for every banking transaction and for a large proportion of my magazine reading.  This is not a unique reaction; millions of people behave this way. There are still a few items that arrive in the mail but gone are the days of feeling extremely inconvenienced if inside postal workers and/or letter carriers were to strike.   If you need proof that old “technologies” like the mail service have been permanently sidelined, you can register with McKinsey & Company to read this article about the Internet’s growth dividend.  There are all kinds of examples of business disruption caused by the overwhelming human embrace of the Internet, and on balance it has been an equally overwhelming plus for our world.

About Peter Armaly
I get jazzed by automation, big data, and blockchain tech. Business, technology, and fitness are things I understand. Scotch, wine, food, and fiction are things I appreciate.

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