The Postal Wire


Postal News Roundup

Retail Facility Conditions Revisited

USPS OIG - “The U.S. Postal Service has more work to do to improve retail facility conditions and to fix potential safety and security problems.”

US Postal carrier found dead in truck during sweltering heatwave

KTVU San Francisco - “The US Postal Service is talking about the hot weather and its policies for postal workers after a long-time postal carrier was found dead in her truck during the extreme heat in Woodland Hills Friday.”

All-clear given near downtown Indy post office; trash found

WRTV Indianapolis - “About an hour after an alert was raised, the all-clear was given near the downtown Indianapolis post office after a suspicious device ...”

US Postal Service steps up efforts to secure northeast Queens mailboxes amid mail theft rash - “Checks were first reported stolen, washed and fraudulently cashed after being lifted from U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mailboxes at locations including…”

USPS has a new way to ensure you get all of your mail: Money Matters - “We don't have a locking mailbox like you suggest, but we do take advantage of a very useful service offered by the U.S. Postal Service called Informed Daily Delivery Digest. You need to create an account with the Postal Service (which is also very handy for all sorts of things such as creating and paying for shipping labels, requesting package pick-up, buying stamps, and such). Once you establish an account, you can sign up for the optional Daily Digest service, which provides an email with pictures of the mail that is expected to be delivered to you each day, along with an accounting of any packages expected.”

As trade wars begin, the humble mail is a reminder of the value of multilateralism - “In this time of budding trade wars, spats among good international friends and a disturbing lack of consensus on human rights and peace, it can often seem that disagreement on the way forward is actually a retreat from present standards…Insights may come from something so commonplace we take it for granted when it drops through the letterbox: the humble mail…The Treaty of Bern, signed in 1874, was an act of multilateralism that not only created my organization, the Universal Postal Union, but also united different postal operators to create a single network of networks ensuring everyone on this planet had access to post. Known as the Universal Service Obligation, it is a stunning example of how countries often unite out of circumstance, but are driven by a recognition that nations in concert gain something beyond narrow self-interest.”

Voice of the People – Op-ed Letter to the Editor by Bettie J. Reina - “Postal service criticism by Trump unwarranted. I love the convenience of my local post office, one of 30,000 throughout the country, where about 630,000 middle-class American workers serve the public. So, I’m deeply offended by President Trump’s use of fake news to damage the United States Postal Service.”

Huffman introduces legislation to end postal facility closures

Ukiah Daily Journal - “Representatives Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), David McKinley (R- WV), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Evan Jenkins (R-WV), and Gwen Moore (D-WI) have reintroduced the Stop Postal Closures Act, bipartisan legislation to end the closure and consolidations of mail processing facilities across the country. In 2012, the U.S. Postal Service began closing or consolidating mail processing plants across the country, including two facilities in Eureka and Petaluma. Mail processing plants are the central sorting hubs, and their elimination can mean that mail has to travel farther before delivery. Facility closures have been associated with delays in mail delivery, missed overnight mail deadlines, and reduced frequency of deliveries. These closures are particularly taxing on seniors, veterans and rural communities who depend on timely deliveries for prescriptions and other services. While the USPS temporarily has halted these closures, they could begin again at any time.”

Agencies Strip Union of Office Space, Attempt to Charge Rent

Government Executive - “Officials with the National Treasury Employees Union said Tuesday that two agencies have begun efforts to implement President Trump’s recent workforce executive orders governing union use of agency property. Last week, the Office of Personnel Management issued guidance on policy changes in light of the Trump administration’s efforts to make it easier to fire federal workers, streamline the collective bargaining negotiation process, and curb union employees’ use of official time. While OPM Director Jeff Pon said the executive orders, which are subject to multiple legal challenges, do not ‘abrogate’ existing bargaining agreements, he insisted that agencies move to change them at the ‘earliest date permitted by law,’ and to change policies unilaterally once an agreement expires.”

3 ways Trump’s Supreme Court pick could transform U.S. labor law
The Washington Post - “President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court may prove a crucial conservative vote in cases defining protections for gay and lesbian workers, the scope of union organizing and the rights of workers to take their grievances to court, according to labor law experts. Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, said Kavanaugh ‘routinely rules against working families’ and denies ‘employees relief from discrimination in the workplace.’”

Insurers scramble after Trump suspends billions in ObamaCare payments
The Hill - “The Trump administration's abrupt suspension of billions of dollars in payments to ObamaCare insurers has prompted new warnings of rising premiums as health companies scramble to adjust. Insurers are pressing the administration to resolve the issue and resume the payments, arguing that premiums will rise for ObamaCare enrollees if funding is cut off.”

New Study Confirms That American Workers Are Getting Ripped Off
New York Magazine - “America’s unemployment rate is hovering near half-century lows. There are now more job openings than unemployed workers in the United States for the first time since the government began tracking that ratio. For America’s working class, macroeconomic conditions don’t get much better than this…American policymakers have chosen to design an economic system that leaves workers desperate and disempowered, for the sake of directing a higher share of economic growth to bosses and shareholders.”

Fresh Proof That Strong Unions Help Reduce Income Inequality
The New York Times - “New evidence shows that unions played a major role in reducing income inequality in the United States in the decades when organized labor was strong. But it also demonstrates that the decline in union power since the 1960s — which may be exacerbated as a result of a recent Supreme Court decision — has contributed to the widening gap between rich and poor.”