The Postal Wire


Postal News Roundup

Postal Service: 'Flawed business model' to blame for first-quarter loss - “The U.S. Postal Service’s first quarter results are usually its strongest, due to the peak in business it receives during the holiday season. However, USPS reported a $540 million loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2018, compared to a $1.4 billion net profit the year before. Despite continued growth in its shipping and package business, USPS cited accelerating declines in first-class mail and marketing mail volume, as well as double-digit growth in its operating expenses, as reasons for ending the quarter in the negative. First-class mail revenue decreased by $309 million in the first quarter of FY 2018 — a decline of about 2 billion pieces of mail, or 4.4 percent, in volume. Marketing mail revenue fell by $248 million, or 5.2 percent. In total, the Postal Service’s quarterly revenue of $19.2 billion remained nearly unchanged compared to last year. Revenue from its shipping and package business increased by $505 million, or 9.3 percent, during the quarter. USPS has averaged double-digit growth in package growth over the last three years.”

Amazon to Launch Delivery Service That Would Vie With FedEx, UPS

MSN - “Amazon is preparing to launch a delivery service for businesses, positioning it to directly compete with UPS and FedEx. Dubbed “Shipping with Amazon,” or SWA, the new service will entail the online retail giant picking up packages from businesses and shipping them to consumers, according to people familiar with the matter.”

US Postal Service

Idaho State Journal, Op-ed John Paige, President of Idaho State Association of Letter Carriers - “In national emergencies, the Postal Service would greatly contribute during a major disaster or terrorist attack when power and phone lines are useless. The USPS can move quickly to reestablish communications, to reopen lines of commerce and to deliver government information, relief checks and medicine to those in need.”

Springfield firefighters knock down machinery fire at USPS bulk mail center - “Firefighters have extinguished a morning machinery fire that sparked at the U.S. Postal Service's Bulk Mail Center on Page Boulevard, Springfield fire officials announced Saturday.  Crews responded to reports of a fire at the USPS facility located at 1800 Page Blvd. just before 7:30 a.m. Saturday, according to Dennis Leger, aide to Fire Commissioner Bernard J. Calvi. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, which started under a conveyor belt as a result of friction heat, Leger said.  Officials did not provide an estimate for the damage at the USPS Bulk Mail Center.”           

Meng Presses USPS to Install Anti-Theft Collection Boxes in Borough to Combat Mail Fishing

The Forum Newsgroup - “A Queens congresswoman fed up with fielding complaints from constituents regarding mail service, or lack thereof, recently sent a letter to the U.S. Postal Service urging it to replace all collection boxes in the borough with new anti-theft models featuring smaller slots in order to combat “mail fishing,” a growing federal crime in which envelopes containing checks and sensitive documents are “fished out” of mailboxes by resourceful crooks using a makeshift rod: an adhesive attached to the end of a string or rope. The perpetrators then cash in at banks or check-cashing establishments through various deceitful methods.Fishing recently cost one of Meng’s constituents $4,000. “It is absolutely unacceptable that Queens residents cannot safely leave their mail in USPS collection boxes due to the danger of mail fishing, which can result in identity theft and bank fraud,” Meng said.”           

Memphis sanitation workers went on strike 50 years ago. The battle goes on

The Guardian - “It was 50 years ago today that two black sanitation workers in Memphis were crushed to death on the job. Soon after, hundreds of their brothers went on strike demanding the recognition of their union and fair pay, and to assert their own basic humanity. The strike commanded the attention of the nation and became a driving force of Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign. Standing with working people fighting for a strong union was King’s final public act before his assassination. “We’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end,” he told the sanitation workers the night before he was shot dead. Each day of the two-month 1968 strike, workers marched from Clayborn Temple to Memphis city jall. They stared down mace and teargas, police dogs and the barrels of shotguns, all while wearing signs that proudly declared: “I AM A MAN.” On Monday, on the 50th anniversary of the strike, some of those strikers will march that same path again, alongside thousands of fast-food workers across the mid-south who are walking off their jobs demanding $15, union rights and respect on the job, regardless of race.”

The Economic Outlook for Millennials is Bleak. Now They're Unionizing in Record Numbers.

Mother Jones - “Recent polling suggests that today's young workers increasingly identify with organized labor. Last year, Pew Research found that 75 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds (including 55 percent of young Republicans) have favorable views of unions—a rate far higher than that of any other age group.”

Pope’s message for Italian postal workers: Put people before profits

Vatican News - Italy - “The care of persons should be at the centre of business models, the Pope told members of the Italian postal service at an audience on Saturday. Pope Francis called on members of the Italian postal service — Poste Italiane — to put people, rather than profits, at the centre of their business model.”      

German workers win right to 28-hour week following industrial action

The Independent - “German workers have won the right to a 28-hour week in a victory towards their fight for a better work-life balance. Industrial union IG Metall, Europe's largest trade union, has won its workers the right to work the equivalent of under six hours each day in a deal that could eventually impact almost 4 million ...”

German union's big win shows US labor the path forward

The Hill - “Last week the German metalworkers’ union, IG Metall, arguably one of the world’s most powerful unions, showed that unions have the power to shape their future workplaces. IG Metall negotiated a precedent-setting collective-bargaining agreement that privileges working conditions over wages. It won its key demand that workers have the right to reduce their working week from 35 to 28 hours for a period of up to two years in order to care for family members.”