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Postal News Roundup

Postal workers kept the public safe. Why does the White House want to get rid of them?

Miami Herald – Op-ed by Mark Dimondstein - “During a tense week recently, pipe bombs mailed to former President Barack Obama, actor Robert DeNiro, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, the offices of CNN and at least a dozen other targets dominated the news. First, these criminal acts placed tens of thousands of postal workers in harm’s way. Second, despite the threat of injury or death, 500,000 dedicated, trained and accountable postal workers continued to carry out their mission contained in the 1970 Postal Reorganization Act: ‘The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the nation together . . . It shall provide prompt, reliable and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities.’ Postal employees continued to serve customers at retail windows, sort letters and packages, drive mail trucks and deliver mail daily to 157 million addresses.”

USPS took a year to fix a vulnerability that exposed all 60 million users’ data

The Verge - “The US Postal Service says it’s fixed a security weakness on usps.com that let anyone see the personal account info of its users, including usernames and street addresses. The open vulnerability was reportedly identified over a year ago by an independent researcher but USPS never patched it until this week, when Krebs on Security flagged the issue. The vulnerability included all 60 million user accounts on the website. It was caused by an authentication weakness in the site’s application programming interface (API) that allowed anyone to access a USPS database offered to businesses and advertisers to track user data and packages. The API should have verified whether an account had permissions to read user data but USPS didn’t have such controls in place.”

USPS is done subsidizing Chinese package shipping

The Hill - “Today, however, China delivers more than 1 billion small packages a year to the U.S., but the special discount treatment continued. Then there came change. The  Trump administration announced U.S. withdrawal from the UPU as of Oct. 17, 2018. The objective was to arrive at competitive and fair global shipping rates.  This move showed the Trump administration’s willingness to quit multilateral agreements judged unfavorable to U.S. interests. Although the UPU withdrawal process takes one year, U.S. deep discounts for Chinese packages ended immediately.”

Call Collett: Moving the mailbox battle

News 2 - “Michele Miller requested her mailbox be moved closer to her home after her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. ‘This is a busy highway,’ Michele Miller explained to News 2’s Rebecca Collett. Michele and her husband live off Highway 70 in Orangeburg County.  For many years, their mailbox was across the highway from their home. ‘I was afraid, with him wanting to check the mail, he would get hit by a car,’ she said, explaining why she filed a hardship request with the Postal Service. Michele’s husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Trumann officials express concern over city’s postal issues

News Channel 3 - “The Trumann mayor, who earlier this month staved off four challengers in the general election, recently said that the city’s mail service hasn’t been the same since the U.S. Postal Service’s Jonesboro sorting center shut down several years ago. Mail is sorted through a sorting center in Memphis now. Mayor Barbara Lewallen and others aren’t satisfied with the service, the Jonesboro Sun reported. It makes it hard for the city’s bills to reach their intended destination on time, she said.”

U.S. Postal Service prepares for busy holiday season

KTNV - “The U.S. Postal Service is gearing up for a busy 2018 holiday season. As the postal service is expecting to deliver 15 billion pieces of mail and 900 million packages, for a total of almost 16 billion deliveries from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. ‘The postal service is ready to deliver for the holiday season.  We have increased our operating capacity to include additional transportation and extended our delivery windows,’ said Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General, and CEO. The postal service will be expanding its Sunday delivery operations to locations with high package volumes beginning Nov. 25. The USPS already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities and anticipates delivering more than 8 million Sunday packages in December.”

Trump would ‘totally be willing’ to shut down government over border wall

The Hill - “President Trump said in an interview published early Wednesday that he would “totally be willing” to shut part of the government down if Congress does not approve a $5 billion budget to build his proposed wall along the U.S. southern border.”

New U.S. Climate Assessment Forecasts Dire Effects On Economy, Health

NPR - “The Trump administration released a major climate assessment on Black Friday, the culmination of years of research by the country's top climate scientists. It's well over 1,000 pages and touches on a daunting range of topics. President Trump said Monday that he has read parts of it. ‘It's fine,’ he told reporters at the White House, although he said he doesn't believe the report's assessment that climate change will cause devastating economic impacts for the U.S.”          

AFL-CIO worries GM job cuts are a 'smokescreen for offshoring'

CNBC - “The AFL-CIO labor union is worried that General Motors' decision this week to halt production at several factories and cut thousands of jobs in the U.S. ...”

Postal union launches protest campaign as employees halt rotating strikes

CBC News – Canada - “Federal back-to-work legislation may have ended rotating strikes by postal workers — but their union now says it's switching to a campaign of ‘non-violent civil disobedience’ to press its contract claims. In a statement issued Tuesday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers Union (CUPW) National President Mike Palecek said that while legal strike action is ending, the pressure campaign is just beginning. ‘You cannot legislate labour peace. We are now moving to a different phase of the struggle,’ he said. Union members were instructed to return to regularly scheduled shifts as of noon ET today, and to await further instructions.”

CUPW Local 820 not impressed by back to work legislation

CKRM – Canada - “Canada post workers are heading back to work today. The federal government passed back to work legislation with a 53-25 vote saying the bill is urgent, due to the economic impact of continued mail disruptions during the busy holiday season. Regina’s CUPW Local 820 President William Johnson says this legislation is very disappointing for the workers. ‘For us as postal workers, we believe that this passing of the back to work legislation is clear violation of our rights to free bargaining under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As postal workers we are really disappointed that these are the steps the government took.’”