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Postal News Roundup

Autonomous Vehicles for the Postal Service

USPS OIG Report -“Driverless cars have captured imaginations for decades, but the past few years have seen the technology move from dream toward reality. More formally known as autonomous vehicles, these self-driving cars and trucks have the potential to transform not only personal mobility but transportation and delivery as well. Other logistics companies are already researching ways they can realize the technology’s promise to increase safety, reduce fuel costs, and improve worker productivity.”

New Product Alert: MailJack+

http://newscenter.io/ - “MailJack+ is a productivity app that sends PDFs as postal mail without requiring that PDFs get printed, folded, stuffed or put into stamped envelopes. MailJack+ was developed primarily to serve the needs of business mailers whose office systems provide PDF output for printing and mailing. According to the company,  internal fulfillment of these mailings can be inefficient and wasteful of resources. With MailJack+, thousands of PDFs can be sent to the app in a matter of minutes; postal addresses are automatically standardized; USPS tracking barcodes are added; and each PDF is printed by Click2Mail, enveloped, sorted and posted the next day with USPS as first-class mail.”

Amazon takes new steps to deter porch pirates

CBS News - “Porch pirates — thieves who steal packages right off your doorstep —are a growing problem. Some homeowners have installed security cameras in an effort to protect their deliveries. CBS Denver reports Amazon is taking things a step further by providing a photo the moment the item is delivered, which could prove especially helpful in some areas.”

Senate Unveils Budget Blueprint Allowing $1.5 Trillion in Tax Cuts

New York Times - “The Senate Budget Committee unveiled a 2018 budget blueprint on Friday that would open the door for a $1.5 trillion tax cut, even as an independent analysis concluded that the plan as offered would far exceed that price tag and overwhelmingly benefit corporations and the rich.”

Supreme Court, spurred by Trump's lawyers, could achieve backdoor repeal of workers' rights laws

Los Angeles Times - “The Supreme Court opens its term on Monday with Trump administration lawyers arguing for a pro-business ruling that could bar workers from joining together to challenge the legality of their company’s workplace rules, including on wages and overtime pay.”          

Trump administration asks Supreme Court to slash workers’ rights

Vice - “It’s employees vs. employers in the first case of what legal experts are calling a “blockbuster” term for the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court kicked off its 2017 term Monday with a case that’s actually three consolidated cases, in which several groups of employees who signed arbitration agreements sued their employers alleging the companies haven’t paid them the overtime wages they were owed.”

Official Time Bill Adds Paperwork for Union Reps and Headaches for OPM

FedSmith.com - “A bill in Congress would require the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to submit annual reports to Congress relating to the use of official time by federal employees. Official time is time certain federal employees work on union matters while still being paid a federal salary. For those of you who have lost track of it, the bill – passed by the House of Representatives in late May, but has sat idly in the Senate ever since…”

January Health Premium Hike Cuts Into Pay Raise, Retiree COLA

FederalNewsRadio.com - “Federal and postal workers this week will learn how much their health premiums will be going up in January…”

Inspectors general unveil new website for reports from across government

FedScoop.com - “The investigative work of inspectors general from across the federal government can now be found in a single digital location. The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency unveiled Oversight.gov, a new website that collects and aggregates reports examining waste, fraud and abuse from across the government. The website, launched officially Monday,  features audits, investigations, evaluations and special reviews from the IGs of 67 agencies and includes more than 5,800 previously released reports.”

Working families respond to mass shooting in Nevada

Workday Minnesota - “After Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, in which 59 people were killed and more than 500 wounded, working families and their allies are responding to help those in need. The Nevada AFL-CIO (link is external) is encouraging donations be made through a GoFundMe page (link is external) set up by Steve Sisolak, chair of the Clark County Commission. Proceeds will aid victims and their families. “Last night in Las Vegas was devastating. The Nevada labor movement offers our condolences to the shooting victims and their families,” Rusty McAllister, executive secretary-treasurer of the Nevada State AFL-CIO, said in a statement Monday.”

Bring the Union Meeting to the Members

Labor Notes - “How many members attend your union meetings? And how do you feel about that? Whether it’s just a handful or a hundred, no activist is ever satisfied. But you can drop a whole load of frustration if you stop expecting a majority of members to travel to the union hall for a two-hour monthly meeting. Thinking about members and meetings in a different way can allow you to bring shorter union meetings to more and more members—at the workplace.”

Picturehouse threatens to sack striking workers in dispute over pay

The Guardian - United Kingdom - “East Dulwich Picturehouse workers march through the streets of Brixton, London, and past the Ritzy cinema, demanding their bosses pay them…”          

Royal Mail workers vote for industrial action

The Guardian – United Kingdom - “Majority of Communication Workers Union members back first strike since the company was privatised four years ago.”