The Postal Wire


Postal News Roundup How Reforms Could Turn U.S. Postal Service Into Threat for UPS and FedEx
“The chronically beleaguered U.S. Postal Service may be headed for a refresh, courtesy of major reforms proposed in Congress. But UPS and FedEx might not like the reformed agency that will ultimately emerge from the process. A Morgan Stanley report this month suggests that a streamlined, flexible USPS could pose a threat to the two private logistics behemoths, particularly in e-commerce delivery services…”

Tech News World: Autonomous Delivery Robots to Hit Virginia’s Streets
“Autonomous delivery robots this summer will be able to travel on sidewalks, crosswalks and shared-use paths throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Gov. Terry McAullife recently signed a law permitting the use of Starship Technologies' Personal Delivery Devices, or PDDs. The six-wheeled robots, which resemble coolers, are designed to deliver parcels, groceries and food within a two-mile radius in 15-30 minutes. The PDDs weigh about 40 pounds and can carry a workload of up to 20 pounds. They travel at 4 mph…”

USA Today: Letter to Editor by Fredric Rolando Things aren’t that bad for the Postal Service: You Say
“USA TODAY’s article “Debt-plagued U.S. Postal Service eyes bipartisan bill to solve woes” mischaracterized USPS finances. It suggested that the Postal Service has failed for years to pay retiree benefits when, in fact, retirees have received their benefits. What the reporter was likely referring to is a congressional mandate that the USPS also pre-fund future retiree health benefits decades in advance. More broadly, the article painted a doom-and-gloom picture as Congress works on postal reform legislation. In fact, for more than three years the Postal Service has been operating at a profit, to the tune of $3.7 billion overall. Revenues have steadily risen as the economy improves and as online shopping boosts package revenues…”

People's World:Women take to the streets again to tackle the Trump agenda
“The same interests that are suppressing our right to vote,” Brittany Butler said at a Women’s Day rally here yesterday afternoon, “are suppressing our right to get paid a living wage.” Butler earns minimum wage as an employee for a federal contractor. She is an organizer for Good Jobs Nation, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. Women workers must have the right to join unions, she said. Without that right, women workers cannot win full equality. The rally here was one of many being held in countries around the world to celebrate International Women’s Day and to spotlight the fact that although the majority of the world’s workers are female, they earn less than men while doing the same work, are daily subjected to sexual harassment on the job and do not receive the paid leave they need to fulfill their responsibility as the main caretakers of their families…”

CNN: Trump meets with union president amid conflict over health care
“President Donald Trump and AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka met at the White House hours before the union president blasted the health care plan backed by House Republicans and the Trump administration on Tuesday. While Trumka said the duo spoke about wages, trade and infrastructure during the meeting, it doesn't appear that they spoke about health care -- an issue the union leaders slammed the President on hours after meeting with him. ‘Among the issues we discussed were trade and infrastructure,’ Trumka said. ‘I also talked to the president about policies that allow Wall Street and corporations to take advantage of workers while lowering wages and stripping workers of rights…’

Washington Post: Senate votes to kill worker safety rule aimed at federal contractors
“President Trump and congressional Republicans are poised to roll back a series of Obama-era worker safety regulations targeted by business groups, beginning Monday night with a vote by the Senate to kill a rule that required federal contractors to disclose and correct serious safety violations. In a narrow result that divided along party lines, the Senate voted 49 to 48 to eliminate the regulation, dubbed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule. Finalized in August and blocked by a court order in October, the rule would limit the ability of companies with recent safety problems to complete for government contracts unless they agreed to remedies…”

The Atlantic: The Future of the Department of Labor Under Trump
“The Trump administration has pledged to help “forgotten” Americans, especially those in the working class. The president has targeted regulations on coal, hoping to resuscitate the industry, and tried to convince manufacturers to locate in the United States, which could create more jobs. But most workers aren’t in the coal or manufacturing industries, so another way to help the “forgotten” Americans may be to focus on improving the working lives of the more than 120 million other Americans who clock in to a job every day. One place to start that project is the Department of Labor, where 17,000 or so staffers and appointees administer and enforce laws protecting America’s workers…Once in office, Weil tried to use the limited resources of the Department of Labor more effectively to find and prosecute companies that were shortchanging their workers on pay. Now that Obama has left office, Weil is back at Boston University, and I recently talked to him about the Obama administration’s legacy on labor and what he thinks the future holds under Trump. This interview has been edited for clarity and length…”

Wired UK: How an army of postmen is turning China's rural stores into the world's largest retail network
“A billionaire investor, a data-crunching genius and thousands of local postmen – how China's small-town stores are undergoing a tech revolution…”