The Postal Wire


Postal News Roundup

Postal Workers To Stand Against Privatization

Journal & Topics Newspapers Online - “Union workers this week plan to rally nationwide against privatization of the U.S. Postal Service. In the Northwest suburbs, the rally will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8 at the Palatine Postal Service Processing Plant, 1300 E. Northwest Hwy. ‘The U.S. Mail Is Not For Sale” is the theme of the rally. Privatization of the postal service has been suggested by the Trump administration as a way to lower costs, part of a larger plan to restructure the federal government.’”

It’s Your Post Office. Keep It. - Take it from a postal worker: If the U.S. sells its public mail service, consumers will lose big time. – Op-ed by Julie Bates, Des Moines Area Local Secretary - “This summer, the White House proposed selling off the United States Postal Service to private corporations. As a 22-year postal worker, I’ll be joining my coworkers, our families, and neighbors across the country on October 8, rallying in support of our public Postal Service. Our message to those who want to sell off our national treasure to the highest bidder: U.S. mail is not for sale. Many may think that in the internet age, the Postal Service has outlived its usefulness, and that the decline of letter mail is the cause of the Postal Service’s financial troubles. But the Postal Service actually turns a profit on its deliveries. The truth is that the USPS’s problems were largely created by Congress.”

Postal unions call National Day of Action to stop privatization

Workday Minnesota - “Postal Service employees and their customers will rally across the country Monday in opposition to President Trump’s proposal to privatize the U.S. mail. The National Day of Action (link is external) has support from all four postal unions, including the National Association of Letter Carriers (link is external) (NALC) and the Postal Workers (link is external) (APWU). In the Twin Cities, union members and supporters will rally over the noon hour Oct. 8, outside the Minneapolis Post Office, 307 S. 4th Ave. Trump announced his interest in turning over the USPS to private hands in June, and his administration later directed a task force to look into overhauling the mail.”

Postal Service should not be for sale

Grand Island Independent – Op-ed by Ken Nickerson, Letter Carrier Congressional Liaison, District 3 Nebraska - “On Columbus Day, Oct. 8, all four postal unions will be holding rallies in each congressional district throughout the country, to say “no” to privatizing the United States Postal Service. Ours will be from noon to 2 p.m. outside Rep. Adrian Smith’s office at 1811 W. Second St., along Highway 30, in Grand Island. The public is welcome to join us to show your support as well.”

The US Mail Is Not For Sale Rally October 8th - “On October 8th, Columbus Day, all four Postal Unions, NALC, APWU, NPMHU, NRLCA, jointly will be having informational rallies in every Congressional District in the country to raise awareness about the impending threats to privatize the Postal Service. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has called this summer for privatizing the USPS. In addition, the Trump Administration is sitting on a report from a Postal Task Force to overhaul the Postal Service.  President Trump received the report in early August but he chose to withhold it from the public until after the midterm elections.  It is widely believed that he will attempt to push forward plans to privatize the USPS…The Rallies in New Hampshire on October 8th are at 1 PM.”

Congress must step up to save the US Postal Service as we know it

The Hill – Op-ed by Art Sackler, Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service manager - “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night keeps the U.S. Postal Service from delivering the mail, but if Congress doesn’t act soon, financial insolvency just might. President Trump’s focus on the postal system and the rates it charges packagers attracted national media attention – and kicked off a presidential task force charged with coming up with recommendations for putting the Postal Service on firmer financial footing. But then the national spotlight dimmed.”

Portsmouth mayor seeks help on downtown post office - “Mayor Jack Blalock has sent a letter to New Hampshire's U.S. senators, asking for their help to ‘keep a retail U.S post office downtown.’”

Suspected ricin detected in mail sent to Trump, Pentagon

CNN - “An envelope addressed to President Donald Trump contained a substance suspected to be ricin and appeared to be connected to similar envelopes sent to the Pentagon, a law enforcement source told CNN. Two pieces of mail delivered to the Pentagon mail facility on Monday have initially tested positive for ricin, according to a US defense official.”

Conway man charged after shooting at post office employee

Albany Times Union - “Federal officials say an Arkansas man has been indicted on assault and firearm charges after he allegedly climbed over a post office counter and fired multiple shots in the direction of an employee. U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland said Wednesday that Stephen Gregory Potts was charged with one count of assaulting a postal service employee and two federal firearms counts.”

Fort Gibson post office closed after 'minor package explosion'

KOKH FOX25 - “Fort Gibson police are investigating after a "minor package explosion" at the United States Postal Office. The postal inspector was brought in to investigate. Officers say the package burst in the mail room in a bin.”

Post Office Supervisor Transferred, Not Fired, After Harassment Claims, Worker Says

NBC Chicago – Sister Ferguson is a member of the Chicago Local - “It’s hard work, but Courtney Ferguson says she loves her job with the post office. She’s been at a facility in Schiller Park for four years now. ‘The post office is a great job to have,’ she told NBC 5 Monday. What Ferguson said she didn’t expect in her job? Sexual harassment…Courtney says that supervisor has been moved to another facility. But she wonders why he wasn’t fired.”

Semi-Truck Fire at Goleta Post Office Plant

Santa Barbara Edhat - “At 8:31 a.m., Santa Barbara County firefighters responded to 400 Storke Road and found the cab of a USPS semi-truck fully engulfed in flames.”

Man arrested after shots fired at Arkansas post office

KY3 - “A man has been arrested on multiple charges after gunshots were fired at a central Arkansas post office.”

Car hits USPS building at 51st and Van Dorn Streets

1011now - “A car hit the USPS building at 51st and Van Dorn Streets in Lincoln Monday around 8:45 a.m.. A post office worker says an elderly woman’s foot slipped from the brake pedal and her car hit the building window. A large glass window shattered.”

New USPS mail processing plant to set open soon in Portland, Ore.

Linn’s Stamp News - “Sometime later this year, Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan is likely to head to Oregon for an unusual dedication. What she will be formally opening will be one of the largest mail-processing plant…”

Coffey Park Residents Fight To Keep Individual Mailboxes During Post Wildfire Rebuild

CBS - Video - “Emily Turner reports on Santa Rosa neighborhood battling U.S. Postal Service over proposed cluster mailboxes.”

Hope for a town without a post office

WOWT News - “For most people, getting mail just means a short walk to the curb. In the small community of South Bend, Nebraska, it means a frustrating drive. Now, thanks to Mike McKnight and Six On Your Side, a solution is being delivered.”

Enhancing Procedures Could Improve Product Scanning

Government Accountability Office - “As e-commerce continues to grow, package delivery has become an increasingly important part of the U.S. Postal Service's revenues.”

Postal Retiree Health Benefits 

Government Accountability Office - “About 500,000 postal retirees receive retiree health benefits. The Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund pays most of the costs… Congress should consider legislation to put postal retiree health benefits on a more sustainable footing.”

USPS internal SPM takes effect Oct. 1 - “USPS now has a better way to measure its service performance. Internal Service Performance Measurement (SPM) became the organization’s official reporting and recording system Oct. 1. It replaces External First-Class (EXFC), which was retired Sept. 30. Here’s what you should know…”

USPS Mail Truck Decision Delayed as Prototype Tests Rolls On

trucks­.com  - “The U.S. Postal Service’s multibillion-dollar program to create a new fleet of advanced design mail trucks remains in the prototype testing stage, even though the agency had expected to have a decision by now.”

What's new in the US, Canada and Mexico trade deal?
CNN - “Experts, however, are still sifting through the documents to determine the actual impact of the agreement. ‘The bottom line is that we simply do not have enough information at this time to know whether NAFTA 2018 is in the economic interests of the United States,’ AFL-CIO Trade Policy Specialist Celeste Drake wrote in a blog post. ‘On labor, despite progress, more work remains to be done.’"

Trump administration says trade pact will bring auto jobs back to U.S.
Reuters - “U.S. labor leaders with the United Auto Workers union and the AFL-CIO also welcomed the new trade pact, but said the details will determine its ultimate success. The UAW said it could ‘provide some needed relief for America’s working families.’”

Under the Fog of Kavanaugh, House Passes $3.8 Trillion More in Tax Cuts
Fortune - “With attention fixed on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a new $3.1 trillion tax cut on Friday. The vote was 220 to 191, including three Democrats. The down-to-the-wire 2017 tax act passed in late December contained a mix of permanent and temporary changes that had to result in a net increased cost that fell within a structural limit of $1.5 trillion that allowed the Senate to approve the bill with a simple majority.”

How the Koch brothers built the most powerful rightwing group you've never heard of
The Guardian - “The cries of ‘Shame! Shame! Shame!’ rang throughout the marbled walls of the Wisconsin state assembly chamber. Disgusted Democratic politicians, some of whom had been up for over 60 hours by this point, punctuated their chants by throwing papers – and even drinks – at their Republican counterparts. Police officers had to be summoned to physically restrain one Democratic representative yelling ‘Cowards!’ across the aisle.”

Elizabeth Warren says she will take a "hard look" at running for president after midterms
CBS News “Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said that she would consider running for president at a town hall in Holyoke, Massachusetts, on Saturday. ‘After November 6, I will take a hard look at running for president,’ Warren said, to an extended standing ovation from her audience. This is the first time that Warren has publicly said that she is considering a presidential bid.”

7th Circuit says local 'right to work' laws invalid, creating split
Reuters - “The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday said an Illinois village does not share the state’s power under federal labor law to ban compulsory union membership and dues, creating a circuit split that could send the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court. A unanimous three-judge 7th Circuit panel struck down a Lincolnshire, Illinois’ 2015 law, saying that allowing the nearly 39,000 local governments in the U.S. to adopt their own ‘right to work’ laws was impractical and would create ‘administrative nightmares’ for employers.”

The Roadmap to End ‘Right-to-Work’ Laws Could Run Through Kentucky
Rewire - “Kentucky last year became the latest state to pass a so-called right-to-work law, after Republican legislators took control of the state house for the first time in almost 100 years  and advanced the bill at whiplash speed at the urging of the state’s anti-union governor. The law undermines unions’ ability to bargain on employees’ behalf by allowing workers at unionized job sites to avoid paying membership dues while still reaping union benefits.”

West Virginia poverty gets worse under Trump economy, not better
CBS News - “West Virginia has a growing poverty problem, and experts there who study the issue say Americans in every state should pay attention. The Appalachian state is, along with Delaware, just one of two states where poverty rose last year, bucking the national trend of growing incomes and declining hardship, according to U.S. Census data released earlier this month. West Virginia's poverty rate climbed to 19.1 percent last year from 17.9 percent, making it just one of four states with a poverty rate above 18 percent.”

Postal workers vote to ballot for industrial action

Isle of Man Today – United Kingdom - “Isle of Man postal workers have voted unanimously to ballot for industrial action in protest at planned cuts. The move came following a mass meeting this afternoon (Sunday) at the Sefton Hotel of members of the Communication Workers’ Union.”

Postal workers vote for strike ballot over 'horrific' cuts

BBC News – United Kingdom - “Isle of Man postal workers have voted to ballot for industrial action, the Communication Workers' Union said. The union's Terry Pullinger said the unanimous decision was made following the most "horrific" cuts to service and conditions he had ever seen.”

New Zealand Post under fire for recording audio of postie drivers

Newshub – New Zealand - “The company previously stopped the recordings, after the Postal Workers Union laid a formal complaint, saying New Zealand Post breached privacy.”

Canada Post, union to hold weekend meeting in attempt to break up contract dispute

The Globe and Mail­ - Canada - “Staring at a potential strike or lockout as early as next week, top officials at Canada Post and the union representing 50,000 of the Crown agency’s employees are to meet over the weekend. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says its national president, Mike Palecek, and Canada Post interim president Jessica Mcdonald, along with members of their negotiating teams, hope to ‘unblock negotiations.’”

Postal workers hold morning act of solidarity

Bay Today­ - Canada - “A group of Postal workers in the North Bay area took part in an act of solidarity this morning for their National negotiating team. The event was less than 10 minutes long as Keith Bradford, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Local 576, gave an update on negotiations between the union and Canada Post in the parking lot behind the local Canada Post building on Worthington Street in downtown North Bay.”