The Postal Wire


Postal News Roundup

Postal service workers to stage Charlotte protest over cutbacks

Charlotte Observer - “U.S. Postal Service workers in Charlotte said they plan to protest cutbacks in personnel on Wednesday that have hurt customer service. Charlotte area postal workers, labor leaders and business owners will hold a press conference, rally and informational picket from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St. The postal service has left at least 16 counter service and mail processing jobs unfilled in the Charlotte area. The postal service has not told the American Postal Workers Union exactly how many jobs are unfilled, despite the union’s repeated requests, said Tony Wilson, president of the union’s Charlotte Area Local.”

Working conditions at post office being addressed after CBS 6 investigation

WTVR - “The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched an investigation into the working conditions at the Westhampton Station Post Office in Richmond after a CBS 6 investigation. During that Problem Solvers investigation, CBS 6 reported that several mail carriers walked off the job due to no air conditioning inside the post office sorting room. CBS 6 spoke with one of the mail carriers who said “Some of us felt like we were going to faint.” He went on to say that the thermostat read 90 degrees of that particular day. “We took a stand and we left because it’s too hot to be able to case up mail and there is no circulation inside the station,” the employee said earlier this month.”

Postal Fleet Services rolls out SmartDrive video system - “SmartDrive Systems announced that Postal Fleet Services, Inc., a major mail hauler primarily servicing the United States Postal Service, has adopted the SmartDrive video-based safety system following a competitive review and pilot program. In piloting the SmartDrive program in its St. Louis, MO service area, Postal Fleet Services improved its SmartDrive Safety Score by 85 percent within a few weeks, and successfully used video footage to exonerate drivers in three collisions — leading to cost savings that more than paid for the SmartDrive platform. These results, coupled with the driver coaching tools, led company leaders to choose the SmartDrive platform over competing offerings.”

Senate panel rejects air-traffic control privatization

USA Today - “Senators who decide how much to spend on the Federal Aviation Administration rejected Tuesday the Trump administration’s proposal to privatize air-traffic control. The Senate Appropriations subcommittee for transportation and housing approved by voice vote a $60 billion bill, with $16.7 billion for FAA. The senators joined their House counterparts in rejecting a proposal to move controllers from FAA to a non-profit corporation. But the decision isn't final because the Senate and House must still debate and resolve their differences before spending decisions become final, months from now.” See also: PILOTS RALLY AGAINST ATC PRIVATIZATION AT AIRVENTURE

Labor Dept. seeking public input as it eyes controversial overtime rule

The Hill - “The Labor Department will ask for public input as it seeks to revise a controversial overtime rule that was finalized under former President Obama. The agency said a Request for Information (RFI) to be published on Wednesday is an “opportunity for the public to provide information that will aid the department in formulating a proposal to revise these regulations which define and delimit exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime requirements for certain employees.” The rule more than doubled the FLSA's annual wage threshold for who can qualify for overtime, from $23,660 to $47,476. It was blocked from taking effect last December by a Texas district court order.”

U.S. Labor Department's fiduciary rule slammed by SEC commissioner

Reuters - “A Republican regulator at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission urged the Labor Department on Tuesday to scrap its fiduciary rule, which aims to reduce conflicts of interest when brokers offer retirement advice, saying it was misguided. In a comment letter to the Labor Department, SEC Commissioner Mike Piwowar said the rule, which requires brokers giving retirement advice to put their clients' best interests first, could harm the broker-client relationship. The rule, which has been partly implemented and was proposed during former President Barack Obama's administration, has been championed by consumer advocates and retirement non-profits. It is opposed by the financial services sector, which fears it will make retirement advice too costly for lower-income investors.”

Why It’s the Perfect Time to Raise the Federal Minimum Wage

Time, Op-Ed Chris Lu, Former Deputy Secretary of Labor and White House Cabinet Secretary during the Obama Administration.  - “It’s been eight years since the federal minimum wage was last raised on July 24, 2009. At the time, the United States was in the depths of the Great Recession, and the major concern for policymakers wasn’t wages but an unemployment rate heading towards 10%. Over the past eight years, the economy has rebounded with the longest streak of job growth in history. Yet millions of people continue to work for the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour — without a pay raise in sight. Leadership on the minimum wage won’t come from the White House, given Donald Trump’s conflicting statements on the issue, and Congress is more focused on health care and tax reform. Yet, there is no better time than now to raise the federal minimum wage. Three out of four Americans support an increase; the economy is healthy; and many employers are already raising wages.”

Royal Mail delivery office merger of Church End and North Finchley could bring "downgrade" to service, says CWU union

Times Series – United Kingdom - “Fears of a "downgrade" in service are brewing after news that a postal delivery office may merge with another in the town centre. Royal Mail announced it is "exploring the option" of merging Finchley Church End delivery office, Dollis Park, to the North Finchley delivery office in Lodge Lane. But residents and the union for postal workers, the CWU, fear this will mean a decrease in the level of service or that they will have to travel almost two miles to pick up their packages.”