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Blog: February 2015

Postal News Roundup

Al Jazeera America: Contracts for 5 Million Workers to Expire in 2015
Millions of unionized workers in the U.S. will see their contracts expire over the next year, and labor leaders say that even non-union workers should hope those contract negotiations go well for the labor movement. American Postal Workers Union president Mark Dimondstein noted his union’s advocacy for a plan that would allow the post office to provide financial services in low-income communities. “We’re approaching our negotiations as bargaining for the public good,” Dimondstein said.

Let's Talk About It: USPS Counters at Staples  [Audio]
Public Service Program with guest Cynthia Heyward of the American Postal Workers Union.

Postal News Roundup

ABC News: Why Danny Glover is Trying to Save the Postal Service
An unlikely candidate has volunteered his services to help save what has been called the dying U.S. Postal Service.

Wall Street Journal: Union Pushes Post Office to Offer Financial Services
The American Postal Workers Union is making a big ask as part of contract talks it kicked off Thursday with the U.S. Postal Service: It wants the post office to expand customer offerings to include financial services.

Campaign for America's Future: Postal Workers and the Public Want a Postal Banking Public Option
Contract talks between the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and the U.S. Postal Service for a new contract start Thursday. Along with asking for fair wages and benefits, the APWU wants improvements in customer services, including postal banking.

Postal News Roundup

Washington Post: Union Enters Talks with Star Power to Expand, Not Cut, Postal Services
Contract talks began Thursday between the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and a reenergized union that seeks to broaden the field of play well beyond the negotiating room.

Washington Post Blog: Danny Glover, the Postal Workers’ Lethal Weapon
Actor-activist Danny Glover’s mother and father were USPS workers, his brother was a letter carrier, his sister worked there to pay for college, and Glover himself spent three Christmases working at the post office to earn extra cash. “I’m concerned that the post office will not be available for my grandson,” says Glover in his signature gravelly baritone

Postal News Roundup

MSNBC's The Ed Show: Danny Glover Fights to Save US Postal Service
U.S. Postal Workers gained a star partner in their fight to save the national mail carrying institution. Ed Schultz, actor Danny Glover and Mark Dimonstein, President of the American Postal Workers Union, discuss upcoming contract negotiations and the Grand Alliance.

Target Marketing Magazine: Cash-Strapped USPS to Become a Bank?
Postal banking can help make the U.S. Postal Service more viable, say representatives of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) who plan to put the banking proposal on the bargaining table on Thursday during the opening day of union negotiations with the USPS.

Ecommerce Bytes: Union Says USPS Should Exploit Ecommerce Opportunity
One year ago, the USPS Inspector General said offering financial services could help generate $8.9 billion in new revenue per year for the Postal Service. Apparently postal workers agree, and their union said Wednesday the Postal Service should also capture a greater share of the growing ecommerce market. 

American Urban Radio Networks: Actor Danny Glover: Save the Post Office 
Actor/activist Danny Glover has joined a coalition of non-profits known as the Grand Alliance, in an effort to "Save the Post Office."  Kim Lampkins has the story.
 

Postal News Roundup

Times Herald Record: USPS May Finally Close Stewart Plant in July
The U.S. Postal Service’s processing plant at Stewart Airport could finally close for good later this year. The APWU is hoping for Congress to stop the closing of this and other plants, and is asking area municipalities to back them.

Save the Post Office: Beware of False Assumptions: OIG Looks at Postal Service’s Unfunded Liabilities
The OIG’s report provides a refreshing reminder that the Postal Service is actually in very good long-term financial condition and certainly not in the dismal shape that critics claim — or, for that matter, as maintained by the new Postmaster General, Megan Brennan, who said recently, “Our current financial situation is untenable when you consider that we have 35 cents in assets for every dollar of liability."

Watchdog.org: USPS Expands its Reach at Private Sector Expense
The debt-ridden U.S. Postal Service is looking to expand its service footprint from well beyond its core mail-delivery operations — everything from grocery delivery to payday loans. But the quasi-governmental agency’s hunt for badly needed revenue streams is coming at the expense of private-sector competitors, undercutting the basic principles of the American free-market system, critics contend.

LaborRadio.org: Actor-Activist Danny Glover in Solidarity with Postal Workers as Labor Talks Begin
The American Postal Workers Union starts talks on a new contract with the U.S. Postal Service today with actor/activist Danny Glover in their corner. These postal labor talks come
​as management is carrying out a policy of slashing jobs, closing mail facilities and dismantling the vast postal network with piecemeal privatization.

 

Editorial Response: Real Postal Reform Will Save Jobs and the Service

The Bulletin: Real Postal Reform Will Save Jobs and the Service
“The U.S. Postal Service’s current policy to dig the agency out of a financial hole by closing post offices and mail processing facilities is not a solution,” APWU Northeast Region Coordinator John Dirzius wrote in response to an editorial. “The postal service is an essential part of the American economy and its vast network is an integral part of our national infrastructure.” 

Processing Plant Closures Loom

Duluth News Tribune: Duluth Postal Center Moves Toward Closure
Todd Fawcett, representing the American Postal Workers Union encouraged residents to contact their congressional representatives about the processing center in Duluth.

Go Erie.com: Postal Service Moves to Close Erie Mail Sorting Facility
Joe Szocki, president of the American Postal Workers Union in Erie, has said that there's a price to be paid for closing plants. He said in a previous interview that closing the local facility would effectively end next-day delivery in Erie.

USPS OIG Blog: Be Careful What You Assume
What if your credit card company told you: “You will charge a million dollars on your credit card during your life; please enclose the million dollars in your next bill payment. It’s the responsible thing to do.” Doesn’t seem quite right, does it? Well, that’s what the U.S. Postal Service’s requirement to prefund its long-term pension and healthcare liabilities is like. 

Grand Alliance Garners Headlines

Huffington Post: A “Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service”
The Conservative/Wall Street/1 Percent/Republican anti-government strategy is to set government up to fail (usually by starving it of funding). Then they point to the resulting "crisis" they created and say it proves that government doesn't work so we should "privatize" it - in other words, rig the system against We the People by handing our common wealth over to a few wealthy people to harvest for personal profit. Now they're coming for the U.S. Postal Service. …

In These Times: Banking Goes Postal - Sixty-Four Unions and Community Groups Are Demanding a Banking Public Option – At the Post Office
American Postal Workers Union (APWU) president Mark Dimondstein has an offer that should be hard to refuse, especially for the 10 million American households, mostly low-income, that do not have a checking account or other basic banking services. … Postal workers would also win: Expanding postal services would create more jobs. 

Corporate Crime Reporter: Alliance Fights Back Against Corporate Attack on Postal Service
An alliance of unions and public interest groups has come together to fight back against the corporate attack on the United States Postal Service. At the press conference, Alliance organizers played a video featuring actor Danny Glover, who says that his parents were postal workers.

Postal News Roundup

Washington Post: Postal Unions, Advocacy Groups Join Forces to ‘Save USPS’
The American Postal Workers Union will join other labor and advocacy groups Thursday to announce a new coalition designed to “save” the U.S. Postal Service from service cuts and efforts to privatize the mail system.The coalition of 63 religious coalitions, retiree organizations, educational and postal unions, lawmakers and progressive advocacy groups is calling itself  “A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service.”

​Daily Kos: The Push for Postal Banking is Headed to the Bargaining Table
The campaign for postal banking could get its next boost next week when the American Postal Workers Union goes into contract negotiations planning to push the idea.

Antioch Herald: Postal Workers Stage On-Going Protest at Staples at Antioch Stores, Want Postal Workers Handling Mail
Holding signs that read “Don’t Buy Staples” and “The U.S. Mail is NOT for Sale” members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) were protesting in front of the Antioch Staples store, on Friday, January 30, as part of an ongoing effort to stop the office products chain from handling mail.

Postal News Roundup

Huffington Post: How The Post Office Could Take On The Payday Loan Industry
With the idea of postal banking becoming more mainstream in the U.S., the head of the largest union of postal workers says he plans to make a revived banking service part of his union's upcoming contract talks with the U.S. Postal Service.

Reuters: Obama Slams Staples, Big Companies on Healthcare: ‘Shame on Them’
U.S. President Barack Obama singled out office supply giant Staples Inc as undercutting his healthcare reform law and said large corporations should not use the health insurance issue as an excuse for cutting wages, the news website BuzzFeed reported. 

Fox News: Customers Upset with Area Post Office for Unpredictable Midday Closures
Customer complaints and FOX 4 inquiries have prompted policy change at a northland post office.

Postal News Roundup

Buzzfeed: Staples Threatens to Fire Staff for Working More than 25 Hours a Week
In 2015, an Affordable Care Act provision requiring large employers to offer health insurance to staff working more than 30 hours a week kicked into effect. Now, some part-time staff at Staples say management has become extra vigilant about limiting their hours.

Washington Post: Can the Postal Service Cling to the Hope that People Still Want Paper Bills?
Many Americans still opt for paper billing despite a preference for online payments, according to a study commissioned by the U.S. Postal Service’s inspector general’s office.

The Hill: Federal Union Workers Rally for Good Government
Federal union workers gathered in Washington on Tuesday to rally for higher wages and fewer federal spending cuts.

Postal News Roundup

CNN Money: Staples and RadioShack Deliver Big Hit to Jobs
RadioShack's bankruptcy will put thousands of workers out of work, but Staples' plan to buy rival Office Depot could cost even more jobs. The two office supply companies have about 4,000 stores and nearly 150,000 employees between them. 

Local News 8: Pocatello Postal Workers Face Involuntary Reassignment
Several postal workers at Pocatello's Flandro Drive processing center tell Local News 8 they received letters Thursday warning of possible “involuntary reassignment” to other positions within the postal service. Local News 8 has been unable to confirm how many workers this will affect, but the Idaho State Association of Letter Carriers said it's part of a plan to close the processing center and redirect mail to Salt Lake City

Postal News Roundup

The Journal Gazette: Staples Set to Buy Office Depot – Opposition Starts EarlyStaples Set to Buy Office Depot – Opposition Starts Early
“A Staples takeover of Office Depot would lead to higher prices for consumers and store closings that would affect employees and customers alike,” Dimondstein said in a statement.  Another concern cited in the news release is the mail services that Staples offers, using employees who are paid less than postal workers whose hours have been reduced.

Arizona Daily Star: Mail Delays Detrimental, Tucson Business Leaders Say
In a press conference with a Tucson councilman, union members and area chambers of commerce, Tucson business leaders said they are experiencing significant delays in mail delivery since the U.S. Postal Service changed its service standards Jan. 5.

Union Opposes Staples Takeover of Office Depot

“The [merger of Staples and Office Depot] is strongly opposed by members of the American Postal Workers Union, who say it would lead to higher prices for consumers and layoffs for employees,” CNN Money reported. “The union called on the FTC and the Justice Department to block the merger,” it said.

​“The American Postal Workers Union says it ‘will vigorously oppose’ the ‘monopolistic and unlawful’ Staples-Office Depot merger before the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission,” Philly.com wrote.

NH Labor News reported, “We call on Congress to weigh in with the FTC and the Department of Justice to stop it. “A Staples takeover of Office Depot would lead to higher prices for consumers and store closings that would affect employees and customers alike,” Dimondstein said. “There are new grounds to block this combination as well,” he added.

Postal News Roundup

North Coast News: Closure of Mail Processing Center Creates Concern
The possible closure of a Eureka mail processing center has officials worried about how it will impact local jobs and the community.

Linn's Stamp News: No Speedy Delivery for Letter to Brennan
Poor Express Mail service delayed delivery of a critical letter from three former members of the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee to Postmaster General Megan Brennan.

Postal News Roundup

WMBF News: Politics Delaying Consolidation of Florence Mail Processing Plant
The Florence mail processing and distribution facility is scheduled to be relocated to Columbia in three months – but that could change, thanks to protests by APWU members and pressure from elected officials. 

Fierce Government: IG: USPS Could Lose Nearly $300 Million This Year Due to Poor Customer Service
The Postal Service risks losing nearly $300 million this fiscal year due to unsatisfactory treatment of retail customers, says a Jan. 29 USPS inspector general report.

Postal News Roundup

DelMarVa Now: Privatization Won’t Improve Your Mail Service or Costs
In an Op-Ed column in his local newspaper, APWU Retiree Roland Scheck writes that outgoing Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe was "caught with his hand in the privatization jar.” Had his scheme been finalized, in a couple of years you have might read how he was hired by these same corporations as a multimillion dollar consultant. 

Journal Times: Mail Seem Slow? Postal Service Change is Likely the Cause
If you’ve recently suspected that letters and bills have been bit slower in arriving in your mailbox, you’re not imagining it. Last month, the United States Postal Service implemented changes to the way it processes all First-Class Mail that isn’t big enough to be considered a parcel.