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Postal News Roundup

Mercury Spill At Postal Facility In Warrendale Stalls Delivery Of Packages

CBS Local - “A postal facility in Warrendale is still closed one week after a mercury spill, and some residents in the area still haven’t received their mail. Individuals dressed in Hazmat uniforms appeared to be loading packages into a non-postal truck at the U.S. Postal Service’s Network Distribution Center facility in Warrendale on Monday.”

Former Manager Of Bulk Mailing Company Admits $1.5 Million Mail Fraud Conspiracy

Justice.gov - “The former manager of a Gloucester County, New Jersey, bulk mailing company today admitted defrauding the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) of more than $1.5 million in postage, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. Steven Kaczorowski, 46, of Sicklerville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court to an information charging him with one count of mail fraud.”

Oversight of Highway Contract Routes – Insurance

USPS OIG - “Our objective was to determine whether Postal Service Contracting Officers (CO) are properly managing Highway Contract Route (HCR) contracts — specifically liability insurance requirements — in accordance with policies and procedures…COs did not consistently manage HCR contracts’ liability insurance requirements in accordance with policies and procedures. HCR contract files lacked documentation of meeting liability insurance requirements. Specifically, based on file documentation we reviewed, the Postal Service had no documentation that 19 (9 percent) of the 205 HCR contracts met liability insurance requirements.” See also: What’s Driving Postal Transportation Costs?

Union says mail carrier shortages are hampering delivery service

Press Herald - “The Portland branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers says the tight labor market and changes in what the post office delivers are causing the staffing issues that affect deliveries.”

AFL-CIO leader suggests he'd welcome NAFTA withdrawal -- to force more negotiations

CNN - “AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Monday that President Donald Trump's threatened withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement could "be helpful right now" -- but not to help Trump. Instead, Trumka hopes to force further negotiations with Mexico, in particular, about a successor deal. "Any sovereign nation has the right to withdraw, and I think that actually can be helpful right now," Trumka told reporters in a phone call Monday morning. Trumka's group, which is the largest federation of unions in the United States, is opposed to both the existing 1994 NAFTA agreement and Trump's replacement, the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which is still awaiting ratification by Congress though leaders of all three countries signed it ceremonially last year.”

Finalized NAFTA 2.0 Deal Unlikely by Late Summer, AFL-CIO Says

Bloomberg Law - “A proposed trilateral trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada is set to fail in Congress if the Trump administration pushes a vote in the next few months, the president of the AFL-CIO said April 1. A draft USMCA agreement was signed in 2018. If ratified by Congress, it would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement that went into effect in 1994.”

How killing Obamacare could backfire for Trump

Politico - “President Donald Trump wants to eliminate HIV in the U.S., contain the opioid crisis and lower the cost of prescription drugs — but all of those need Obamacare to be successful. And Trump just promised to kill it. His HIV plan relies on key pieces of Obamacare to expand access to prevention and treatment services for Americans at risk of contracting the deadly virus. Expanding opioid prevention relies heavily on Medicaid, which expanded under Obamacare. And Trump’s push to lower drug prices would use an innovation program that tests drug cost modeling — and was created by Obamacare.”

Americans Borrowed $88 Billion to Pay for Health Care Last Year, Survey Finds

The New York Times - “Americans borrowed an estimated $88 billion over the last year to pay for health care, according to a survey released on Tuesday by Gallup and the nonprofit West Health. The survey also found that one in four Americans have skipped treatment because of the cost, and that nearly half fear bankruptcy in the event of a health emergency.”

Equal Pay Day is a reminder that you can’t mansplain away the gender pay gap

Economic Policy Institute - “April 2nd is Equal Pay Day, a reminder that there is still a significant pay gap between men and women in our country. The date represents how far into 2019 women would have to work to be paid the same amount that men were paid in 2018. On average in 2018, women were paid 22.6 percent less than men, after controlling for race and ethnicity, education, age, and geographic division.”

Nurses Strike in New York: Threat Increases Over ‘Safe Staffing’ Levels

The New York Times - “At Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in New York City, the 58 tiny beds for sick newborns are almost always filled. But nurses who work there say there are often too few of them to provide all of the care the babies, and their worried families, need.”

Tanzania Postal Bank launches savings account for women

The Citizen – Tanzania - “Tanzanian women will have something to smile about after TPB Bank PLC launched a special account for them, in a bid to promote savings. The account, dubbed Tabasamu, was launched yesterday by the Vice President of United Republic of Tanzania, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan.”