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Postal News Roundup

Postal Banking Could Become a Reality Even Without Congress. Here's How.

In These Times - “In 2016, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), representing nearly 200,000 clerks, maintenance workers and other postal employees, engaged in a quiet campaign to make postal banking a reality. They took the concept to the bargaining table in their most recent contract negotiations.”

US Postal Service censured for forcing out disabled staff

Global Government Forum - “Officials at the US Postal Service (USPS) deliberately fostered a hostile working environment as the agency tried to force out tens of thousands of staff injured on the job, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has said in a final ruling – and these employees may now be entitled to compensation…The EEOC ruled that any employees evaluated under the NRP during the period 5 May 2006 to 1 July 2011 may put in a claim for damages. The American Postal Workers Union estimates that may total more than 130,000 people.”         

Postal workers to stamp out hunger May 12 

Alamogordo Daily News - “Those who walk through the community delivering mail each day are hoping to give back this month. "This is the 26th anniversary of the Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive," said Theresa Miller, local letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service.”                       

K-9 teams try to slow alarmingly productive postal pipeline for opioids, other drugs

WPRI 12 Eyewitness News - “Seizures of opioids and other illegal drugs mailed to Rhode Island and the rest of the country are up sharply, but a recent congressional investigation indicates a postal pipeline is still delivering substances with a street value worth hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Riding the Returns Wave

USPS OIG - “In 2016, the OIG issued a white paper, The Evolving Logistics Landscape and the U.S. Postal Service, that noted the continuing surge of ecommerce was fueling a rise in the number of packages returned. We now follow up on that work by identifying emerging trends in reverse logistics as well as ...”           

Post offices that are also banks? Genius idea. But don't hold your breath

Los Angeles Times - “File this under Excellent Ideas That Should Definitely Happen But Probably Won't. Last week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, introduced legislation to create a Postal Bank, empowering the nation's vast network of post offices to offer checking and savings accounts, and to provide low-interest short-term loans…But I look at the more than $26 million commercial banks gave to congressional candidates in the 2016 election cycle — with Republicans receiving nearly twice as much as Democrats — and I wonder how supportive politicians will be of creating a quasi-governmental competitor to this industry.”        

Veterans Agency Faces Legal Backlash on Privatization

Courthouse News Service - “With the White House poised to privatize essential services at the Department of Veterans Affairs, an Army reservist and a Marine accused the agency in a federal complaint Monday of putting their health care in imminent danger. “          

Paul Krugman: Tax cut turning out to be a 'nothing burger'

CNN - “Paul Krugman thinks the Republican tax law is failing to stimulate economic growth as promised. "We should be seeing an investment boom or at least some indications of a planned increased investment," the Nobel Prize-winning economist told CNN correspondent Paula Newton on "Quest Means Business" on Wednesday. "We're just not seeing that." In terms of business investment, Krugman said, it "looks like the tax cut is a nothing burger."

Labor board declines to intervene in Pueblo teacher dispute

The Denver Post - “The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has decided not to intervene in an impasse between teachers and Pueblo City Schools, paving the way for a possible strike.”

Teacher Pay Is So Low in Some U.S. School Districts That They’re Recruiting Overseas

The New York Times - ‘“Rather than increase salaries, districts may once again resort to recruiting internationally as a way to solve the teacher shortage,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, a national teachers’ union, said in a statement. She added that while her union “will fight for everyone working in our communities and educating our kids to have fair wages, rights and workplace protections regardless of where they’re from, the use of the J-1 visa program to fill long-term shortages is an abuse of an exchange program.”’

Amid rampant inequality, are labor movements making a comeback?

KALW - podcast - “For many workers speaking up for better treatment, it's not just about pay – it's about dignity. Teacher strikes have developed in five different states, and more strikes are underway today. Could a progressive labor movement be flourishing in Trump's America?”        

“Strikes have not died out in the 21st century, they are being transformed”

Equal Times - “At the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization) they are very busy rganizing International Labour Day. This national centre, the biggest in the United States and Canada, has not forgotten 1 May 1886. Two years of intense rganizing culminated on this day in a strike by 350,000 workers…Many things have changed since then in this country which has 126 million full-time workers. Only 11.9 per cent are rganizin and the number of strikes has plummeted since 1981 to the point where they are considered merely symbolic. What started this? Ronald Reagan’s government “with its anti-worker policies”, “the attacks and changes in labour laws and regulations” and “the obstacles to trade union rganizing at the workplace and collective bargaining,” Gonzalo Salvador, AFL-CIO spokesperson, tells Equal Times.”           

Roget slams govt’s proposal to raise retirement age to 65

Trinidad News – Trinidad & Tobago - “JOINT Trade Union Movement (JTUM) leader Ancel Roget has announced that the “time of silence” is over and government should brace for increased ... Trade Union; Steel Workers Union (SWUTT); Transport and Industrial Workers Union; Postal Workers Union; and TT Unified Teachers Association.”           

Canadian workers offer pension lessons for the UK

Financial Times - Canada - “The introduction of CDC pensions in the UK has been boosted by the Royal Mail Group which, in concert with the Communication Workers Union, is pushing to offer the schemes to its 140,000 workers, who were recently taken out of their DB scheme into a riskier DC plan.”

Workers, activists mark May Day with defiant rallies

Miami Herald – Germany, France, Spain… - “Workers and activists marked May Day on Tuesday with rallies to demand their government address labor issues. International Workers' Day is a public holiday in many countries, though activities are restricted in some places, sometimes leading to confrontations. A look at some of the events around the world ...”