Blog: May 2015

Postal News Roundup

Washington Post: USPS Contract Talks Stall; Federal Unions Have Little to Say on Pot Policy
Dimondstein called “management’s economic demands and proposed changes to the workforce structure … completely unacceptable.”

India Notes: Contract Talks Between American Postal Workers Union and U.S. Postal Service Hit Impasse
During this round of contract talks, the APWU made the unprecedented move of bringing consumer issues to the bargaining table, insisting that quality service is crucial to maintaining a strong, public Postal Service. 

Post & Parcel: Regulator Rejects Union Complaint Over USPS Mail Delivery Standards
America’s postal regulator has thrown out a formal complaint by a trade union about the US Postal Service failing to meet its service standards. The complaint by the American Postal Workers Union was rejected by the Postal Regulatory Commission despite the fact that the Commission itself confirms that the Postal Service failed to meet its service targets in its most recent full financial year (2014).

Duluth News Tribune: Postal Workers, Elected Officials Rally for Duluth Mail Processing Center
Fifty people gathered in front of the post office on West Michigan Street in a rally to save the Duluth mail processing center.

The Roanoke Times: USPS Says it Will Delay Roanoke Plant Consolidation
The consolidation was fought heavily by postal worker lobbyists and union representatives. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County, are also opposed to it and so are Virginia’s two Democratic senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner. Griffith and Goodlatte sent out a joint news release Wednesday praising the decision to delay consolidation.

Tester, Heitkamp Request Postal Study and Improved Mail Delivery Standards
As the U.S. Postal Service continues to face a budgetary shortfall, Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) want better postal data so policymakers can make informed decisions on how to improve service in rural America.

Save the Post Office: Commissioner Goldway Issues Scathing Dissent on PRC’s Decision to Dismiss Careywood Appeal
Unlike the majority opinion, the dissent is consistent with Commission precedents, cognizant of the Postal Service’s obligations to the rural public, and respectful of the Commission’s own statutory responsibilities.  

Postal News Roundup

Salon: Why Turning the Postal Service Into a Bank Isn’t Nearly as Ridiculous as it Sounds
This remains a tremendous idea to relieve economic inequality and preserve an important public-sector ladder into the middle class; and continued agitation just might get it done.

South Florida Business Journal: American Postal Workers Union Urges Feds to Reject Staples-Office Depot Deal
The American Postal Workers Union filed a formal report this week asking federal anti-trust regulators to strike down Staples' $6.3 billion deal to purchase Office Depot.

Palm Beach Post: Postal Workers Union Pans Office Depot/Staples Merger
As the Federal Trade Commission weighs the proposed merger of Staples and Office Depot, the American Postal Workers Union is urging trust busters to nix the deal.

The Hill: Senate Dems Grill USPS Over Mail Delays 
Senate Democrats say they are concerned about significant mail delays in rural America.

The Florida Times-Union: Snail Mail Slows Down Even More
Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, said the delays are avoidable. “We should be boosting service and returning to prompt mail delivery,” he said. “Closing more postal sorting facilities will only make things worse.” 

The Register Guard: Congressional Delegation: Postal Service Will Keep Springfield Processing Plant Open
The mail processing center in the Gateway area — and its workers — have received another reprieve. 

Postal News Roundup

Boston Globe: Postal Workers Union Files Report Opposing Staples/Office Depot Merger
A union representing postal workers has urged federal regulators to block a proposed $6.3 billion merger of Staples Inc. and Office Depot Inc.

ECommerce Bytes: Should the USPS Expand Postal Banking Services?
While the USPS is best known for delivering the mail, it's also the number one seller of the most widely used type of alternative financial service in the United States: the Postal Service sold 97 million money orders with a face value of $21 billion in fiscal year 2014.

Postal News Roundup

Wall Street Journal: Coming to a Post Office Near You: Banking?
The Postal Service’s inspector general, in a report issued Thursday, said the agency should enter or boost offerings in certain parts of the banking business.

HousingWire: USPS Now One Step Closer to Providing Financial Services
Now, a new white paper from the USPS’ Office of the Inspector General lays out a series of distinct paths that would allow the post office to enter the banking and financial services sector.

Politico: Postal Service Settles Data Breach Labor Case
The U.S. Postal Service agreed to settle an NLRB complaint alleging it refused to bargain with its unions over how to rectify a data breach that compromised personal information for hundreds of thousands of employees.

The North Platte Bulletin: First Class Mail Runs Late
The U.S. Postal Service reported serious deterioration during the first quarter for First-Class Mail that should have been delivered within three days, according to a USPS report.

Berkeley Daily Planet: A Victory in the Fight to Save Our Historic Post Offices
This victory serves as a precedent and example for other communities who want to save their Post Offices. The case also may save union jobs by requiring the USPS to follow the law.

Postal News Roundup

Government Executive: Amid USPS Calls for Pay Cuts, Unions Let Deadline Pass for New Labor Contract
USPS’ contracts with both the American Postal Workers Union, and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association were set to expire Thursday. APWU and postal management decided to extend negotiations for one more week in hopes of reaching a deal. The NRLCA, however, reached an impasse with the Postal Service, and a mediator will now step in. 

OIG Report: The Road Ahead for Postal Financial Services
Based on ongoing interest and inquiries, we further assessed ways for the Postal Service to expand its financial services offerings.

Wall Street Journal: USPS Could Boost Revenue by Expanding Banking Services, Report Says
The agency could easily expand those offerings without needing new legal approvals, the report suggests. For example, it could add the option to wire money electronically between post offices, as well as ATMs for customers.

Des Moines Register: Postal Workers Protest Poor Service, Staff Cuts
The workers were picketing for their rights, the rights of their customers and to raise awareness of changes the United States Postal Service is undergoing – including staff cuts and newly relaxed service standards – and to inform the public that USPS does not receive taxpayer dollars, said Lonnie Matticks, former USPS employee and member of the union.

Postal News Roundup

Post & Parcel: US Newspaper Publishers Urge Congress to Fix Rural Mail Service Decline
The Association’s chief executive Tonda Rush told the Senate’s Government Affairs committee yesterday that the ongoing consolidation of the US Postal Service mail network is now accelerating the problems, leading to “enormous complaints” from rural publishers.

Superior Telegram: Towing the Party Line
The American Postal Workers’ Union Auxiliary advocates: "We believe delivery standards need to be returned to those in place in July 2012. The denigration of these standards impairs our communications within our communities while hampering businesses ability to conduct timely daily activities."

Postal News Roundup

The Union Edge: APWU Rallies for Postal Customers [Audio]
APWU Eastern Region Coordinator Mike Gallagher joins us to talk about why Postal Workers are rallying, and about new reports that reveal long delays in mail delivery, reduction in service standards and the pain felt by consumers, seniors, and businesses.

The Business Journal: Postal Union Chief, Ryan Press Case for Mail Center
Since announcing the postponement of the closure, the Youngstown processing facility has proven just how vital a cog it is in the wheel of the national mail processing network,” Varner says.

Postal News Roundup

The Vindicator: Ryan Rallies to Save the Youngstown Postal Center
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, voiced his support for the workers at an American Postal Workers Union Local 443 media event this afternoon outside of the processing center.

Plainsman: Postal Workers Union Local 7141 Hold Rally
Members of American Postal Workers Union Local 7141 rallied outside the Huron Post Office on Thursday concerning news that the Dakota Central mail processing plant in Huron is planning to be closed June 1.

The Rick Smith Show: APWU Holds Day of Action Protesting Privatization of the USPS [Audio]
Omar Gonzalez, Western Region Coordinator for the American Postal Workers Union joins Rick to talk about the APWU National Day of Action to Save the Post Office.

Public News Service: Clock is Ticking: Contract Expires This Week for Postal Workers 
Florida postal workers have more on their minds this morning than the heavy load of Monday mail. The American Postal Workers Union contract is set to expire this Wednesday.

Postal News Roundup

MSNBC: For Danny Glover, Standing with Postal Workers is Personal
Chris Hayes talks with actor Danny Glover about preserving the American institution that is the post office. U.S. Postal Service Delivery Times Lag More than Expected
Here and across the country, union officials are calling to reverse the closing of mail-sorting centers under the recent system overhaul.

CNN: Dozens Sickened at New Jersey Postal Annex Amid Report of Sweet Odor
A dozen people felt dizzy, lightheaded and nauseated at a postal annex in western New Jersey on Friday, sicknesses that authorities haven't been able to explain yet.

Postal News Roundup

National Day of Action News Clips

Washington Post: Danny Glover Leads Postal Worker Rally in Downtown DC 
The “Lethal Weapon” star, looking rally-chic in a pair of cargo pants, a union-logo T-shirt, and a sport coat, joined members of the American Postal Workers Union on their national "day of action" to protect jobs and protest reduced mail services.

Campaign for America's Future: National Day of Action to Save the Postal Service
According to Ralph Nader, consumer advocate, “If the prepayments required under PAEA were never enacted into law, the USPS would not have a net deficiency of nearly $20 billion (2011), but instead be in the black by at least $1.5 billion.”


Postal News Roundup

The Edmond Sun: Postal Workers, Customers to Hold Nationwide Protests May 14
“U.S. Postal Service executives and the agency’s Board of Governors are using a manufactured financial crisis to justify their strategy of reducing service, delaying mail delivery, and dismantling a great national treasure,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.

ECommerce Bytes: US Postal Service Workers Protest USPS Service Cuts
Postal workers will urge customers to sign postcards to the Postmaster General declaring, "I Stand with Postal Workers" and in support of improved postal services.

Idaho State Journal: Officials Say Mail Has Slowed After Center Closed
People in the Gate City are beginning to notice a slowdown in mail delivery since the U.S. Postal Service’s mail processing center on Flandro Drive began its phase out on April 18.

Postal News Roundup

The Hill: Postal Workers Rallying for Longer Service Hours
“U.S. Postal Service executives and the agency’s board of governors are using a manufactured financial crisis to justify their strategy of reducing service, delaying mail delivery, and dismantling a great national treasure,” said Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union. Postal Workers, Supporters in Omaha to Protest Thursday
Members of the American Postal Workers Union will rally at the Congressman Brad Ashford's office at 7126 Pacific Street in Omaha on May 14 at 4:00 p.m.. The event is part of a National Day of Action by APWU members and supporters across the country to demand improved postal services and to protect good, living-wage jobs. Stand with Postal Workers in National Day of Action: Guest Viewpoint
A cabal of corporate predators, congressional anti-government ideologues and pusillanimous postal officials are dismantling this invaluable public service, piece by piece—an agency that literally has delivered for America from the very start of our country.

Direct Marketing News: Postal Workers to March for Expanded Hours, Services
Members of the American Postal Workers Union will hold rallies in more than 85 cities this Thursday in a “National Day of Action” to call for expanded hours and the offering of new services such as banking to preserve jobs.

Postal News Roundup

South Florida Business Journal: Broward Could Buy Site from USPS for $18M
The Broward County Commission will consider purchasing a 27-acre site in Pembroke Pines from the U.S. Postal Service. Stop Postal Executives From Destroying Our Postal Service
Fed up with the deliberate degradation of their vital public service, postal workers themselves are putting forth a vision and innovative plan not merely for USPS to survive, but thrive. With more than 70 other national groups, they’ve forged “A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service.”

Postal News Roundup

The Hill: Postal Revenues Bump Up in 2015
The U.S. Postal Service’s package business spiked by more than 10 percent in the first three months of the year. 

Center for Effective Government: During Public Service Recognition Week, Remember the Unsung Heroes of Hurricane Sandy: Postal Workers!
About a hundred postal workers had made their way through the storm, some walking from outer boroughs to get there. No one demanded that they come. The mayor told everyone to stay off the streets.  No one expected them to appear, but they did. 

Gallup: Americans’ Views of Government Handling of Healthcare Up Sharply
Of 20 different areas included in this year's survey, satisfaction with mail delivery came out on top with 90% of Americans satisfied – which reinforces the U.S. Postal Services' No. 1 ranking among major government agencies in November 2014. 

Washington Post: Senators Press New Postmaster General on Troubled Rural Mail Service
Slow mail delivery and poor service are hitting rural America hard, and the U.S. Postal Service needs to pay attention, a bipartisan group of senators from rural states told Postmaster General Megan Brennan this week.

Save the Post Office: Historic Houston Post Office Headed for Demolition
It’s a historic building, eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, but it looks as though it is headed for demolition. 

Postal News Roundup

The Intercept: Government Says Company Part-Owned by Feinstein’s Husband Abuses Post Office Contract
CBRE, a giant real estate company partially owned by Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband, Richard Blum, is costing the U.S. Postal Service millions of dollars a year in lease overpayments, and its exclusive contract should be immediately canceled, the service’s inspector general has found.

WYTV News: Closing of Youngstown USPS Processing Center Put on Hold
Although the USPS has temporarily delayed the closure of the processing center in Youngstown, Postal Service officials stress that plans to consolidate the Youngstown operation with Cleveland has not changed.

Federal News Radio: Thank a Government Employee This Week
This is Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) — a week set aside to recognize the work done by government employees at local, state and federal levels. Thank you to the United States Postal Service. People seem to like to criticize the Post Office, but I do not know why. I've never had a letter or package I sent via USPS lost or damaged. They can deliver a letter anywhere in the country for pennies and do it quickly. Last year, they delivered over 155 billion packages and pieces of mail to almost 154 million delivery points. They have competitive prices, great service, and do not refuse to deliver mail to locations just because those locations are not profitable. Thank you postal workers.

Postal News Roundup

The Hill: Postal Service Urged to End Deal with Real Estate Broker
But in separate statements, both USPS and CBRE shot back that the inspector general’s report missed the mark. Mark Dimondstein, the union’s president, said the report was a reminder that APWU and other interested parties shouldn’t let USPS sell off at times historic real estate, and should join the call for the agency to fire CBRE.

The Spokesman Review: Letter to Editor: Let USPS Make Loans
Congress could make up for the punishing burden placed on the USPS by facilitating what post offices in New Zealand, Brazil, India and China do, and the USPS inspector general estimates would generate $9 billion annually for USPS: making small, low-interest loans to local residents.

Federal Times: House Passes Budget Without Federal Benefit Cuts
House and Senate Republicans have been working to reconcile budget proposals that included significant benefit cuts, but the unified version passed by the House and to be voted on in the Senate dropped a plan to increase federal employee pension contributions to six percent or more of salaries.

Postal News Roundup Inspector: Conflicts of Interest Taint CBRE’s-Post Office Sales
Since CBRE represented both sides in deals, "this arrangement allowed CBRE to negotiate with no parties present, representing both the lessor and the Postal Service and being paid by both," according to the report. 

Cronkite News: Mail Closure in Tucson Could Save Postal Service, But Cost Region Millions
Although Cherrybell would still offer postal services – like accepting packages and delivering mail – it would stop processing mail, much of it originating in southern Arizona. The pieces would have to travel 112 miles to Phoenix, or farther, for processing.