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Postal News Roundup

US Postal Service increases mailing and shipping rates

WIFR - “It will now cost more to mail a letter or send out a package. The United States Postal Service is implementing new postage rates for multiple mailing and shipping products that took effect Sunday. Rates will increase an average of four percent across all shipping services ...”

Friends and family plan vigil to honor slain postal worker

ABC 6 - “A vigil Sunday evening will mark one month since the shocking murders of two U.S. Postal Service workers from the Dublin Post Office. The United Methodist Church for All People, on Parsons Avenue in Columbus, will host the vigil beginning at 5:00pm. The service will honor the memory of Lance Herrera-Dempsey. He was killed, along with his postal service colleague Ginger Ballard, on December 23rd. Their former co-worker, 24-year-old Deshaune Stewart, is charged for both murders. Police say Stewart went to the Dublin Post Office on December 23rd, and shot Lance Herrera-Dempsey in the shoulder. Herrera-Dempsey died from that wound soon after.”

Postal contractor charged with stealing phones from parcels in transit

KTUU - “A man contracting for the U.S. Postal Service has been indicted for obstructing mail and stealing cell phones from parcels in transit, the U.S. Attorney’s office says. Jermaine N. Sails, 41, of Anchorage, is accused of taking phones from parcels beginning in October of 2016, continuing through August of 2017. Sails was employed by a private contractor that handled U.S. mail during the time frame, including parcels with cell phones that were being mailed back to service providers for return or repairs.”

What Will Happen if the Government Remains Shut Down

The New York Times - “If Congress fails to come to an agreement, the government shutdown that officially began at 12:01 a.m. Saturday would continue indefinitely. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers would be furloughed, affecting a wide range of government programs.”

Government Shutdown Goes Into Monday as Senate Inches Toward Deal

The New York Times - “Senators failed on Sunday to reach an agreement to end the government shutdown, ensuring that hundreds of thousands of federal employees would be furloughed Monday morning even as the outlines of a potential compromise came into focus. For much of the day, feverish work by a bipartisan group of senators offered a reason for cautious optimism that a deal could be reached soon.”

Unions grew by 262K members in 2017, density stays at 10.7 percent

People's World - “The nation’s unions grew by 262,000 members last year, to 14.817 million and union density stayed at 10.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced, using data from the Current Population Survey of 60,000 households nationwide. Union density in the private sector edged up 0.”

Why many companies are giving bonuses — not raises — after the new tax cuts

Washington Post - “Companies such as American Airlines, Bank of America and AT&T have also made one-time payouts, each offering $1,000 cash bonuses for many employees as a way of sharing their savings haul from the new tax bill…For one, bonuses are a lot easier to pull back than a bump in base pay.”

What Amazon does to wages

The Economist - “When Amazon announced in 2010 that it would build a distribution centre in Lexington County, South Carolina, the decision was hailed as a victory for the Palmetto State. Today the e-commerce giant employs thousands of workers at the centre. Just 3.5% of the local workforce is out of work.”

Voices Of America's Contract Workers: It's 'Feast Or Famine'

NPR - “Flexibility, freedom, uncertainty, insecurity. These are the words contract workers use to describe their jobs. These impermanent jobs are now built into the fabric of America's working life. They have become a new normal. NPR talked to dozens of contract workers around the country; their jobs, salaries and locations vary greatly, but all touch on similar themes in their experiences.”

CWU claim victory in the Royal Mail dispute

Tamebay – United Kingdom - “The Deputy General Secretary of the major postal workers union, the CWU, (Communications Worker’s Union) has said that an agreement with Royal Mailis imminent. It does look like that strikes will be avoided. Negotiations after the autumn ballot and a High Court ruling meant that both parties were forced around the table and all signs show that the process has been successful.”