The Postal Wire


Postal News Roundup

Postal-Service Workers Are Shouldering the Burden for Amazon

The Nation - “Every day postal trucks drop off about 4,000 packages at a US Postal Service station in central Tennessee, where they’re unloaded by a team of around six USPS employees. Each person grabs a box, rushes to the only scanning machine, runs the bar code, and then places it in the proper gurney for its route. The process takes about 10 seconds, and it can be repeated as many as 200 times in an hour. “You’ll see all of us, management included, trying to get under the machine, scanning packages and then tossing them, trying to get through it,” said Amanda, a USPS clerk who works there. “I’m pretty sure every one of us has at least one repetitive-motion injury.” Around one-third of the packages Amanda handles are shipped by Amazon. As the Seattle-based tech giant commands an ever greater share of the retail market, the number of packages handled by the USPS keeps increasing. But employees say Postal Service management hasn’t responded to the surge in heavy items by investing in staffing or infrastructure. Instead, its leadership has cut costs…”           

US Postal Service tops public approval survey of federal agencies - “The U.S. Postal Service is among a number of federal agencies to get high approval ratings from the public in a survey taken this month by the Pew Research Center. The service topped the list of 10 agencies in the survey with an approval rating of 88 percent.”

Man arrested in shooting death of postal worker on highway

New York Post - “A man arrested in the fatal shooting of a postal worker driving a delivery rig on a Dallas highway may have been acting out of road rage, authorities said Thursday. U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox issued a statement saying that Donnie Ferrell, 25, of Hutchins, had been arrested and was being charged with murder of an officer or employee of the U.S. government while that employee was engaged in official duties. U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokeswoman Amanda McMurrey said Ferrell was due to appear before a magistrate judge Thursday.”     

Rolling Meadows tries to get post office to come back

Chicago Daily Herald - “Nearly six years after the Rolling Meadows post office closed, residents and local officials are trying to get it back. Mayor Len Prejna is working with the offices of U.S. Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg and Peter Roskam of Wheaton to lobby U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan.”

Postal Service to attend meeting about mail delivery issues in Ypsilanti

WDIV ClickOnDetroit - “I have spoken with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, including the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations Mark Meadows, who oversees the postal service, and who has offered to come to Michigan to make sure my constituents have the mail service they deserve.”           

Colley Avenue post office closing its doors

WAVY-TV - “After Friday, customers will be able to pick up their mail at the main post office in Norfolk, at 600 Church Street. Any PO Box customers have until Saturday, Feb. 24 at 5 p.m. to pick up their mail at the Colley Avenue location. Any mail left inside those boxes will be moved to the Church Street location.”           

US Inspector General Launching Investigation Into Greenburgh Mail Service

Greenburgh Daily Voice - “The Office of the Inspector General of the United States Postal Service is launching an investigation into the occasionally spotty mail service that has been plaguing Greenburgh residents in recent weeks. Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner announced on Thursday that after inquiring to U.S. Postal Service officials regarding the lack of delivery recently, he received an email from Patricia Irons, the Manager for Public Policy Planning and Analysis for U.S.P.S., who said the matter has been forwarded to the Inspector General.”         

Federal documents outline major fentanyl bust at Charlotte post office

WSOC Charlotte - “A man accused of trying to pick up two pounds of the highly-potent drug fentanyl at a southwest Charlotte post office made his first federal court appearance Monday. Authorities arrested Marcus Armstrong last summer at the Yorkmont Post Office at Old Pineville Road… Federal documents obtained by Channel 9 show the Drug Enforcement Agency asked post office workers to keep an eye out for a package from New York. A law enforcement task force actually used a drug-sniffing dog to try and find the suspicious package, but the dog couldn’t detect it.”    

Union leaders to Trump: 'New NAFTA' must boost workers' rights, wages

People's World - “Six top union leaders told Republican President Donald Trump any “new NAFTA” so-called “free trade” pact must improve workers’ rights and wage . With the next round of NAFTA talks starting in Mexico City on Feb. 23, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka led the delegation into the closed-door talk with Trump. No aides or specialists accompanied Trumka, Steelworkers President Leo Gerard, Auto Workers President Dennis Williams, Teamsters President Jim Hoffa, Machinists President Robert Martinez and Communications Workers President Chris Shelton into the meeting. “We had a very productive meeting which made clear to the president that a new NAFTA must create fair and balanced trade in North America. Real solutions for any new trade deal must dramatically improve workers’ rights and raise wages and living standards in all three countries,” they added. They also agreed to say nothing more and the White House did not discuss the Feb. 21 talk between Trump and the six. But the “new NAFTA” talks appear to have hit several big rocks, according to media reports in Canada, the third partner in the controversial jobs-losing current NAFTA pact with the U.S. and Mexico.”

The Privatization of US Foreign Policy 

LobeLog – Op-ed, Paul R. Pillar, Senior Fellow, Center for Security Studies of Georgetown University and an Associate Fellow of the Geneva Center for Security Policy. He retired in 2005 from a 28-year career in the U.S. intelligence community. His senior positions included National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, Deputy Chief of the DCI Counterterrorist Center, and Executive Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence. “The unethical blurring of private interests and public business is a hallmark of Donald Trump's presidency. That blurring has increasingly involved U.S. foreign policy. The possible effects on U.S. foreign relations may be subtle and largely out of public view.”

Behind a Key Anti-Labor Case, a Web of Conservative Donors

New York Times - “In the summer of 2016, government workers in Illinois received a mailing that offered them tips on how to leave their union. By paying a so-called fair-share fee instead of standard union dues, the mailing said, they would no longer be bound by union rules and could not be punished for refusing to strike.”        

From Whole Foods to Amazon, Invasive Technology Controlling Workers Is More Dystopian Than You Think - “You’ve been fired. According to your employer’s data, your facial expressions showed you were insubordinate and not trustworthy. You also move your hands at a rate that is considered substandard. Other companies you may want to work for could receive this data, making it difficult for you to find other work in this field. That may sound like a scenario straight out of a George Orwell novel, but it’s the future many American workers could soon be facing. In early February, media outlets reported that Amazon had received a patent for ultrasonic wristbands that could track the movement of warehouse workers’ hands during their shifts. If workers’ hands began moving in the wrong direction, the wristband would buzz, issuing an electronic corrective. If employed, this technology could easily be used to further surveil employees who already work under intense supervision. Whole Foods, which is now owned by Amazon, recently instituted a complex and punitive inventory system where employees are graded based on everything from how quickly and effectively they stock shelves to how they report theft. The system is so harsh it reportedly causes employees enough stress to bring them to tears on a regular basis.”

Why Do So Many Workers Struggle To Stay In The Game - Part 2

Forbes - “In the first installment in this series, I identified three challenges confronting the American workforce: affordable transportation, available family care and the impact of criminal records on general employability. This post specifically addresses the first of these challenges – the impact of limited transportation options on millions of American workers – and provides insight into a few potential solutions. If asked, many people would guess that test scores, crime, or growing up in a single-parent home have the biggest impact on social mobility. However, the statistics do not support this common assumption. In fact, a recent Harvard study shows that commute time has the biggest impact on one’s chances of escaping poverty.”           

German union expands strike action at Deutsche Post

Reuters­ - Germany - “Deutsche Post had said after the first round of action on Thursday that strikes were unnecessary and it was doing all it could to get any affected deliveries to customers as soon as possible. The union is demanding a 6 percent wage increase or more time off for around 130,000 workers at Deutsche Post.”