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Postal News Roundup

Post office suspends some service in Houston due to flooding

KHOU News - “Hurricane Harvey’s impacts on the Gulf Coast resulted in the temporary closure of postal facilities in the, 770, 772, 773, 774, 775, 776 and 778 3 digit ZIP Codes in the Houston area. Today, U.S. Postal Service Houston District Manager David Camp announced that all retail and delivery operations, along with drop shipments and mail acceptance are suspended through the close of business Monday, August 28, 2017. The Postal Service assures customers that their mail has been secured and safe. As water recedes in the impacted areas and conditions improve, both mail delivery and retail services will be restored. We will continue to monitor conditions and will provide more information as services are restored. All Priority Mail Express service to the Houston area is suspended until Wednesday, August 30th at 5:00 p.m.” (see also: USPS: Services temporarily suspended at several post offices due to possible impacts of Hurricane Harvey)

USPS indefinitely stops package deliveries in Milwaukee south side neighborhood

TMJ4 News - “The U.S. Postal Service is indefinitely stopping some deliveries in Milwaukee. Just last week, residents along 10th and Oklahoma received a letter in the mail from USPS saying packages will temporarily need to be picked up at their local office. A USPS supervisor said this is an effort to protect customers after a spree of package thefts in the area. The supervisor said they’re investigating reports of thieves following mail carriers to target packages.”

Postal Customer Satisfaction: A Primer of Four Surveys

USPS OIG Report - “Happy customers are critical to the survival of any business, the U.S. Postal Service included. If residential and business customer alike are content with mail delivery and their local post office, they will continue to send and receive mail and packages via USPS instead of seeking digital alternatives or using other shipping providers. To understand customer needs and to gauge how well it meets them, the Postal Service surveys its customers at various touchpoints.”

Field Material Handling Projects

USPS OIG Report - “The U.S. Postal Service has one of the largest material handling systems in the world for moving mail. It uses more than 8,500 pieces of mail processing equipment to sort over 153 billion mailpieces annually. Since fiscal year (FY) 2014, the Postal Service has, on average, invested about $36 million annually in field material handling (FMH) projects. FMH projects are generally needed to address safety concerns, sustain operations, or create workhour savings from more efficient mail processing. We recommended management reduce workhour budgets for the projects that should have had budget reductions; develop and implement a financial policy to apply consistent allocation of savings for FMH projects; update Postal Service policy for all investments, including FMH projects; and provide oversight to ensure project performance tracking.”

I am the real face of the minimum wage

Kansas City, Op-Ed Bill Thompson, father and Burger King worker - “When I’m standing over the hot grill at Burger King, I often think of my father. He was a postal clerk and a proud member of the American Postal Workers Union. We lived in a town with good schools. We visited the doctor regularly, and we never went to bed hungry. Once a month, he and other clerks played the letter carriers in a union softball game. I would buy an ice cream cone and sit in the bleachers with the other children, cheering my father on in the outfield. That middle-class existence now seems like another life. I’m a college-educated 46-year-old who spent the last three decades at fast-food restaurants. At the Burger King just outside Kansas City, where I’ve worked for the last five years, I’m paid just $9.10 an hour. Unlike my father, I get no health care or other benefits.”

OSHA scrubs worker deaths from home page

POLITICO - “The federal department charged with protecting workers erased data on workplace deaths from the home page of its website Friday — and changed its policy to disclose fewer fatal accidents in the future. For the past several years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had maintained a running list of workers killed on the job — including the date, name and cause of death — near the top of its home page. The list included every worker death reported to OSHA, regardless of whether the company was issued a citation. On Friday, the box on the home page disappeared and was replaced with information on how companies can voluntarily cooperate with OSHA to reduce safety risks.”

Why Medicare and Medicaid Can Outmatch Private Plans on Cost

The New York Times - “In recent days, Democrats have stepped into the health policy vacuum created by the Republicans’ failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Proposals making the rounds include allowing Americans to buy into Medicare at age 55 or to buy into Medicaid. Both Medicare and Medicaid pay lower prices to health care providers compared with private market plans offered by employers and in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.”

FTC clears Amazon.com purchase of Whole Foods

Washington Post -Amazon.com jolted the grocery industry when it announced plans to buy Whole Foods Market.”

FROM THE SUPREME COURT TO A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, LABOR IS ON THE DEFENSIVE

City & State New York - “Heading into the fall of 2017, New York’s union movement confronts an existential crisis on multiple levels. There’s the threat from pending U.S. Supreme Court case Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which could strip labor unions of their ability to require members to pay dues. There’s an openly hostile Republican-controlled Congress and executive branch looking to push back protections won by the federal workers when President John F. Kennedy granted them collective bargaining rights back in 1962.”

Senior Matters: Labor is real trickle-down economics

The Record Eagle, Op-Ed, Fred L. Goldenberg Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) -  “On Monday Sept. 4, we will celebrate Labor Day, a national holiday that pays tribute to the contributions workers have made to making America great…The reasons vary, but when unionized workers benefit, those benefits trickle down to all workers. Over the years there have been major strides in income, safety and benefits that never would have been instituted had it not been for the labor unions.”

Labor Speaks Out Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Presidential Pardon

New Hampshire Labor News - “Yesterday, President Trump pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was convicted for violating people’s civil rights in his anti-immigrant crusade. “The criminal conviction grew out of a lawsuit filed a decade ago charging that the sheriff’s office regularly violated the rights of Latinos, stopping people based on racial profiling, detaining them”

U.K. Postal Service Testing Electric Delivery Trucks

Wards Auto – United Kingdom - “The U.K.’s national postal service, the Royal Mail, unveils pictures of battery-electric delivery trucks it has begun testing in the capital city. Nine BEVs with ranges of up to 100 miles (161 km) and of varying sizes and payloads are part of the trials to distribute mail from the central London depot.”

STRIKING BANK EMPLOYEES HOLD MASSIVE RALLIES ACROSS INDIA

UNI Global Union - India - “Bank employees under the umbrella of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) in India staged a one day strike on 22nd August 2017. Massive rallies were organized by the component unions of the UFBU, across many metropolitan cities in India. Thousands of striking bank employees stood with their union leaders and supported the campaign to strengthen the state owned banks, opposing the reforms aiming to the weakening of the banks. Unions are agitating as authorities have failed to initiate firm timely actions for recovery from big borrowers who have defaulted repayment of loans.”