By Jason Menard
The problem with Canada Post? They don’t throw deliveries through a hoop into your mailbox or have to feint past a postal opponent to shoot your mail into a community box. If they had, supporters would have welcomed them back with open arms – a case we’ve seen repeated over and over in the sporting world.
The postal lock-out has now been over for a week, thanks to back-to-work legislation from the federal government. Despite the filibustering efforts of the NDP, the Conservatives finally got their chance to use a majority – and they did.
Even prior to the back-to-work legislation, the court of public opinion came down hard on both sides of this work stoppage. Canada Post itself was antiquated and easily replaceable in our high-tech lives; the posties themselves were greedy, lazy, malcontents who have no idea what it’s like in the real world? After all, there are so many people out there out of work who would love to carry a bag for a couple of hours for $17 an hour or more.
As always, the truth lies somewhere buried deeply by the rhetoric and the real issues have been lost (remember, despite people believing it was a strike, the posties were, in fact, locked out). But the solution is clear for those who have been inconvenienced by the lockout.
They’re moving on.
That’s right. No moreCanadaPost for their bill payments; they’re going on-line finally. Ordering on-line or shipping packages? Time to call up CanPar or Purolator.
Yes, the greedy, perspective-lacking posties will be punished to the utmost of people’s abilities. After all, we were doing them a favour using their services! Stamps at over 50 cents? Having to pick up packages at a depot? How dare they?
So my question for those who are so firm in their resolve against the posties and the corporation, I ask is: how many hockey games did you watch this year?
What about basketball? Football? And in light of the resurgence of the Toronto Blue Jays, how many have celebrated the rebirth of this franchise and its transcendent star Jose Bautista?
How many of these people have plunked down their hard-earned cash buying replica jerseys or overpriced seats at an NHL venue? How many have paid extra to get the premium cable package to watch NBA TV or check out every ball game on a given night?
How many of these people are just poised in a three-point stance, waiting for the NFL and the decertified NFLPA (yeah, OK) to finally divvy up those last few dollars from the multi-billion-dollar pie of which they’re a part?
Why are people so willing to forgive someone who gets paid $17,000 a game, yet are so vociferous in their anger towards those who in the future may make $17 an hour?
Never is a dangerous word. Fans use it in the heat of the moment. As a sports fan, you feel invested in your team’s fortunes to your very core. There are those who live and die with each game; who alter their daily routing (and clothing habits) in a mistaken belief that they’re having an impact on their team’s fortunes.
Unfortunately, in the end the only way a fan should feel invested in a team is through the money that’s coming out of their wallets. When it comes down to it, that’s all both the players and the owners care about.
They can pay lip service to caring about the fans, but their behaviour shows otherwise. They’re making obscene (but justifiable) amounts of money for playing a game; these labour disagreements are often billionaires pitted against millionaires. And who is in the middle?
The fans and the average folk. The concession worker who is making just over minimum finds herself out of a job during a strike. The bargaining chip that both sides are most willing to play is the threat of not playing your games.
The posties tried to make a go of rotating strikes to minimize impact; the corporation locked out its employees to force the government to take action. Neither was perfect, but neither played so fast and loose with your emotions.
So in the end, if you’re a sports fan who was – and is — willing to forgive and forget so quickly (not to mention slap down inflated rates for merchandise), then spending a few dimes on a stamp shouldn’t be too hard.