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Postal News Roundup

Local post office staffer wins national award

Jefferson City News Tribune - “April Burger won't be helping people apply for U.S. passports Monday or Tuesday at Jefferson City's Main Post Office. Instead, she'll be in Washington, D.C., accepting the U.S. State Department's award as 2017's Passport Acceptance Agent of the Year.”

April Burger is a member of the Jefferson City Local.                 

Getting Real with Artificial Intelligence

USPS Office of Inspector General - “USPS officials gave a presentation on its holiday chatbot effort at a recent event hosted by the Office of Inspector General called “Artificial Intelligence and Possibilities for Improvements to the Postal Customer Experience.” The event included a panel of experts who discussed a range of issues on AI…”

Letter to editor: Postal service reform needed

The Bakersfield Californian, Op-ed Letter to the Editor - “Most of us have relied on our U.S. Postal Service our entire lives, but in recent years, it has been running massive deficits and putting our future mail service in jeopardy. This is especially concerning for those of us in more rural areas of Kern County, who depend on mail delivery. Congressman McCarthy needs to address this and support legislation (HR 756) reforming our nation's postal service, ensuring it can operate responsibly well into the future. This solution is worth supporting as it will put the post office back on track without raising our taxes.”

Supreme Court may deal major blow to labor unions

USA TODAY - “The nation's powerful public employee unions stand to lose membership, money and political muscle at the hands of the Supreme Court this year. The only question appears to be how much. On the court's docket next month are fees paid in 22 states by police, firefighters, teachers and other government workers who decline to join unions that must represent them anyway. But much more is at stake in a nation with declining union membership and growing economic inequality.”

Trump NLRB appointee finds a way around conflict of interest rules

Salon - “A Trump administration appointee to the National Labor Relations Board benefited the interests and clients of his former law firm when he cast the deciding vote to undo rules protecting workers’ rights in two cases last month. The decisions, which were both resolved 3-to-2, are instances of what some former NLRB members describe as a side-door means of evading government ethics requirements — a way to do indirectly what conflict of interest rules prevent the appointee from doing directly.”

FEMA To End Food And Water Aid For Puerto Rico

NPR - “In the days after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, residents of some of the hardest hit rural areas found themselves stranded — cut off from more populated areas by mudslides, crumbled roads and bridges, and toppled trees and power lines. In those early days, the only food and water many of these communities received arrived by helicopter, sent by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Eventually, towns and villages dug themselves out, but lacking electricity and in many cases running water, their need for emergency food and water persisted. So FEMA has continued providing it, dispensing enormous quantities to the island's 78 mayors, whose staffs have in turn set up local distributions or gone door to door to deliver the aid. On Wednesday, however, that aid will come to an end.”