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Postal News Roundup

Officials, post office workers petition to reinstate postal banking

bronx.news12.com - “Local leaders gathered at the Hunts Point post office to advocate for postal banking. The group was at the office as they attempted to drop off a petition to reinstate banking services. Up until the mid-1960s, if someone wanted to drop off a letter there, they could also go inside and drop off money to deposit too. Since then, post offices have only offered limited financial services like money orders and U.S. Treasury check cashing. One post office worker says a post office offers a more secure and trusted place to go for those services. The 42-year post office veteran helped collect 5,000 signatures for the petition.”

Trump Opens New Front in His Battle With China: International Shipping

The New York Times - “President Trump plans to withdraw from a 144-year-old postal treaty that has allowed Chinese companies to ship small packages to the United States at a steeply discounted rate, undercutting American competitors and flooding the market with cheap consumer goods…The Universal Postal Union treaty, first drafted in 1874, sets fees that national postal services charge to deliver mail and small parcels to countries around the world. Since 1969, poor and developing countries — including China — have been assessed lower rates than wealthier countries in Europe and North America.”

President Trump moves to pull U.S. out of 144-year-old postal treaty, citing hit to U.S. firms

USA Today - “The Trump administration on Wednesday threatened to pull the United States out of a 144-year-old postal agreement that it says has disadvantaged domestic shippers by giving China and other countries discounts on postal rates. The Universal Postal Union, created in 1874, sets shipping rates for 192 member countries. Administration officials said Chinese shippers pay roughly 20 cents for every $1 domestic companies pay to move a package within the United States.”

South Bend residents happy to have mail service back in town

WOWT News - “For most people, getting mail just means a short walk to the curb. In the small community of South Bend, Nebraska, it meant a frustrating drive…The trip to the post office is now just a few blocks for most South Bend residents. The postal service is delivering mail to cluster boxes just installed outside a store on the edge of town…Some residents said they want to send a message to the postal service that this solution should only be a start. They want the full service they see in neighboring towns. ‘I was to have the post office itself back,’ Val Peter said. Many hope the return of mail service will lead to a new post office. Not just a place to buy stamps and mail packages, but for a post mark.”

Harvard trio studies regional post office needs

The N'West Iowa Review - “N’West Iowa residents who are worried about the future of their respective post offices will have a chance to voice their viewpoints to a group of Ivy League scholars…”

As threat of privatization draws closer, postal workers rally

The Altamont Enterprise – Brother Kaufman is the Legislative Director of the Albany Local - “Almost 40 years ago, the United States Post Office became the Postal Service, a new entity that would function like a business without government funding. But some postal workers and politicians believe that the postal service could one day become an actual business, and they believe that day is coming closer. The most recent actions stoking the fear of privatization include the issuing of two federal task forces in the Trump administration, one which has already recommended that preparations begin to privatize postal service in light of fiscal concerns. ‘It’s like the monster’s at the door now,’ said James Kaufman, of the American Postal Workers Union…Postal workers are being invited to join rallies across the country on Columbus Day to protest the privatization of the United States Postal Service.”

Postal service unions to rally against USPS privatization

Sentinel-Tribune - “A ‘US Mail: Not for Sale’ rally will be held at the office of U.S. Rep. Robert Latta, R-Bowling Green, on Monday at 9:15 a.m. The office is located at 1045 N. Main St. On Columbus Day, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the American Postal Workers Union, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union are holding rallies in each congressional district to demonstrate against any effort to privatize the U.S. Postal Service.”

Screening for Poisons, Explosives in Mail a Daily Reality After U.S. Threats

U.S. News & World Report - “A letter sent to the Pentagon this week containing castor seeds, from which the highly toxic ricin poison is derived, shows the daily challenges facing the U.S. Postal Service and companies trying to stay a step ahead of potentially deadly deliveries. After letters containing deadly anthrax were mailed to two senators and media outlets in 2001, the U.S. Postal Service began irradiating mail addressed to the White House, the U.S. Congress and other government offices. Irradiation destroys bacteria, such as anthrax, and viruses that could be present in mail. But ricin remains dangerous even after irradiation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.”

U.S. DOL Cites USPS For Repeat Safety Violations at Austin Facility

Department of Labor - “The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for safety hazards after receiving a complaint of unsafe working conditions at an Austin, Texas, facility. The company faces proposed penalties totaling $224,585. OSHA's investigation determined that an employee suffered injuries after being ejected from a powered industrial truck, and cited USPS for failing to ensure powered industrial truck operators obeyed traffic regulations, exposing employees to trip hazards, and failing to label electrical panels and breakers.”

U.S. Postal Service working to restore operations following Hurricane Michael

Mypanhandle.com - “The Postal Service continues to restore service to our customers.  As an integral part of the communities we serve, the Postal Service is continuing recovery efforts every day, so we can reconnect our customers and businesses with their mail. The majority of our major processing infrastructure is up and running and the mail is moving. Most of our Post Offices are open for business and we are delivering to homes and businesses, wherever it is safe and accessible to do so. We are committed to serving our customers in portions of northern Florida, southern Georgia and S. Carolina,”

Postal employees continue service amid wildfires

Postaltimes.com - “Employees at two Utah Post Offices stepped up to ensure customers received their mail when wildfires threatened the surrounding communities. The fires, which prompted the evacuation of about 6,000 people, occurred late last month in Elk Ridge and Woodland Hills, two foothill communities in south-central Utah.”

USPS contract worker throws package out of car window and it's all caught on camera

FOX21News.com - “What should have been a basic package delivery was literally thrown out the window on Wednesday night in the Cordera neighborhood in northern Colorado Springs.  A contracted postal service worker is seen on the Gohl family's security camera video throwing a package out of the window of his van.”         

Canada Post ups wage, benefit proposals, backs down on pension changes

CTV News – Canada - “Canada Post issued wide-ranging new contract offers to its employees Wednesday in the hope of preventing a work stoppage at the Crown corporation ahead of the busy holiday online shopping season, The Canadian Press has learned. The offers included ‘improvements to pay and benefits, adding job security for rural and suburban employees and no changes to the existing defined benefit pension plan,’ the agency confirmed in an emailed statement…A spokesman for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers confirmed the union had received new proposals from the Crown corporation late Wednesday, but said the bargaining agents would need to analyze them before commenting.”