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Postal News Roundup

AFL-CIO calls for a break with “lesser of two evils” politics

People's World - “The AFL-CIO convention here passed yesterday a political resolution that calls for a break with “lesser of two evil politics” but came up short when it comes to projecting a clear path to how that will be accomplished. “The time has passed when we can passively settle for the lesser of two evils,” reads the main political resolution passed Tuesday by the AFL-CIO convention delegates. Lee Saunders, chair of the AFL-CIO’s political committee and president of AFSCME, and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, introduced the resolution. They lead the labor federation’s two largest unions. Convention managers yoked the resolution to another measure it also approved discussing a labor party, though not by name…The prime mover of a Labor Party motion at the convention, Postal Workers President Mark Dimondstein, has been calling for such a new formation since the passage of NAFTA in 1993, which he said showed both Democrats and Republicans were in the pockets of the corporate class.

Dimondstein made many of the same arguments for a Labor Party on the convention floor that he voiced in the meeting the night before, when Baldemar Velasquez of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, Mark Dudzic of Labor’s Committee for Single Payer, and Donna DeWitt, former president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, joined him.”        

OPM Finalizes Long-Desired Change to USPS Pensions

Government Executive - “The U.S. Postal Service will finally see its payments into the federal employee pension account calculated using assumptions from its workforce specifically, rather than the federal workforce as a whole. The calculation has long been a sticking point at the mailing agency. USPS leadership has for years argued its payments into the Federal Employees Retirement System and the Civil Service Retirement System have been too pricey due to the difference between the demographics of its employees and the rest of government. Salary growth and workforce characteristics of the Postal Service differ significantly from those of other federal organizations. Postal workers generally remain in a similar pay grade throughout their careers while non-postal feds generally see their salaries increase significantly, and postal workers generally die younger than the rest of the federal workforce. The Office of Personnel Management finalized a rule on Wednesday allowing the Postal Service to make payments into the pension funds using a separate calculation based exclusively on its employees.”

Postal Service expects 10% rise in holiday mail volume

USA Today - “O come, all ye letters and packages. This holiday season, the U.S. Postal Service said it expects to deliver more than 15 billion pieces of mail, including 850 million packages. Despite the rise of email and more private package deliverers, USPS says its volume is expected to be 10% more than the same period last year.”

2-Party System? Americans Might Be Ready For 8

NPR - “There is a political crackup happening in America. There remain two major political parties in this country, but there are stark fissures within each. There seem to be roughly at least four stripes of politics today — the pragmatic left (think: Obama-Clinton, the left-of-center establishment Democrats), the pragmatic right (the Bush-McCain-Bob Corker Republican), the populist right (Trump's America) and the populist left (Bernie Sanders liberals). But a new political typology out Tuesday from the Pew Research Center, based on surveys of more than 5,000 adults conducted over the summer, goes even deeper. It finds eight distinct categories of political ideology (nine if you include "bystanders," those not engaged with politics).”

Why You Shouldn't Count On The Promised $4,000 'Raise' From GOP Tax Plan

NPR - “This week, Sarah Huckabee Sanders promoted one of the White House's chief selling points about the Republican tax plan. The pitch: American households will get an additional $4,000 as a result of the tax overhaul proposed in September…The number comes from an estimate produced by the Council of Economic Advisers earlier this month. And while it's impossible to do a flat-out true-or-false fact check on an estimate, this figure is likely to be repeated as the White House pushes tax overhaul, and there is reason to doubt that your household will get $4,000 — or even anything close to it.”