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Postal News Roundup

Chicago Tribune: Explosion at East Chicago post office injures worker; FBI investigating
“…East Chicago Fire Chief Anthony Serna said firefighters were called about a report of an explosion at the post office just before 6 p.m. Wednesday. When firefighters arrived, they were told a female post office employee had been injured, Serna said. She was brought to St. Catherine's Hospital in East Chicago with injuries that were not life-threatening, Serna said. Authorities said at an evening news conference that two employees were inside at the time of the blast and another was out making deliveries.”

KBTX News: USPS working to get medicine stuck in the mail to residents
“The United States Postal Service is implementing plans to ensure customers in Bryan receive their medications and all other mail "as quickly as possible." In a release Wednesday, USPS said they proactively planned for the storm. As long as it is safe, they will work to get people their mail as quickly as possible.”

ABC WHAM – Rochester, NY: 6 people hospitalized after nail polish remover spill at Westgate Post Office
“…6 people were transported to area hospitals and 10 more were evaluated on scene after an "obnoxious odor" prompted an evacuation and response from Hazmat crews and USPS investigators, according to an official from the United States Postal Service and the Gates Fire Department.”

Ecommercebytes: US Postage Increase Took Affect Sunday
“…On August 9, 2017, the Postal Regulatory Commission ("PRC") approved the transfer of the First-Class Mail Parcels ("FCMP") product from the market-dominant product list to the competitive product list. The approved new rates (13 rate cells in total) can be viewed on the Postal Explorer website at pe.usps.com and will go into effect on September 3, 2017.” 

ABC 2 - Baltimore: 60 cents for a stamp? US Postal Service calling for big increase
“The largest one-time price increase in the history of the U.S. Postal Service may happen soon. It is seeking to raise prices of mailing letters and packages by 20 percent to avoid bankruptcy and improve delivery services, the Associated Press reports. The cost of a stamp would move from 49 cents to 60 cents. The USPS acknowledges a decline in mail has been part of decreased income, but also says Congress is partly to blame because of burdensome retiree health benefit costs…”

ABC 13 – Houston, TX: USPS creates pickup locations for treasury checks, medications
“The U.S. Postal Service Houston District is working to get mail service restored to those whose service were disrupted by Hurricane Harvey. Customers who were displaced by the storm and resulted in flooding will be able to receive treasury checks and medications that have been sent through the mail.”

Houston Public Media Houston Postal Workers Brave Flooded Areas To Deliver Mail
“…Postal workers in Miles’ Scarsdale delivery area have been off for four days due to Harvey and its aftermath. Due to the overwhelming pileup of mail, carriers like her are currently delivering mail on weekends and holidays….Miles walks her delivery route wearing a face mask to protect her from the mold and fiberglass insulation particles that are in the air due to flooding and subsequent home demolition. The doors of homes stand open as homeowners attempt to air them out.”

PostalNews: USPS suspends operations in Puerto Rico as Irma approaches
“All postal operations in the Puerto Rico mainland are suspended. There will be no retail and delivery operations until further notice.”

USPS OIG ReportInternal Controls Over Stamp Stock Shipments - Woodbury, MN, Post Office
“The OIG used data analytics to identify offices with lost or stolen stamp stock shipments. We identified $29,000 of net expenses related to lost or stolen stamp stock shipments at the Woodbury, MN, Post Office between May 1, 2016, and April 30, 2017.”

Federal News Radio: CBO weighs pros and cons of 5 possible changes to federal retirement
“The Congressional Budget Office reviewed a variety of different options for the federal retirement system, which may serve as an entree for lawmakers as they consider significant changes for federal retirees in the 2018 budget and beyond. The report comes as both the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers have vowed to make changes to federal pay and benefits. Both the president and House Republicans in the past several months have offered their own ideas to cut federal retirement benefits as a way to realize new cost savings.”

The New York Times: It’s a Myth That Corporate Tax Cuts Mean More Jobs
“As Congress prepares to take up tax reform, we looked at 92 companies that pay very low taxes. Their job growth rate was negative.”

The Washington Post: Trump has a corporate tax plan. Economists have some questions.
“President Trump's much-awaited speech about his plans for tax reform has fired up the debate about who really wins when taxes are slashed. The president has previously proposed cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent  —  a move budget experts project would cost the country $2.4 trillion over a decade. The reduction, he has argued, would encourage companies to stay and grow and hire in the United States..”

Herald Sun, Op-Ed Wanda Coker is a resident of Durham & fast-food industry worker: I grew up in a union household. Why I’m fighting for my grandkids to say the same.
“I’ve worked in fast food for 26 years, clocking in thousands of hours at Wendy’s and Burger King. I’ve worked through a complicated pregnancy, kidney failure and diabetes. But instead of receiving a pay check I can live on, health benefits, or paid days off, my reward is a pile of medical bills that I can’t afford to pay. Here’s what I’ve learned since I first put on my uniform: we can’t depend on a boss to protect us. The only way to win better pay and basic rights is through forming a union so we can fight for ourselves. That’s why, this Labor Day, with thousands of other fast-food workers across the country, I’m going on strike for $15 an hour and union rights. We’re taking on the country’s rigged system that keeps down working people like me.”

PBS NewsHour: After decades of pushing bachelor’s degrees, U.S. needs more tradespeople
“As California budgets millions to rebrand long-disparaged vocational education, there are an estimated 30 million jobs in the U.S. that pay at least $55,000 per year and don’t require a bachelor’s degree.”

The Financial Times: America needs its unions more than ever
“The central issue in American politics is the economic security of the middle class and their sense of opportunity for their children. A pervasive sense of vulnerability and missing opportunity leads to dissatisfaction, reduces faith in government and institutions, diminishes willingness to support the least fortunate, increases resentment towards members of other ethnic groups and fuels truculence towards other nations. As long as a substantial majority of American adults believe that their children will not live as well as they did our politics will remain bitter and divisive…”

Huffington Post – United Kingdom: National Postal Strike Looms As Communications Workers Union Rejects Royal Mail Pensions, Pay Plan
“The first national postal strike since the privatisation of Royal Mail is set to go ahead unless the company “significantly” shifts its line on pensions, job cuts and pay, union bosses have warned. Blogging for HuffPost UK, Communication Workers Union (CWU) general secretary Dave Ward, said that a ballot for industrial action will take place if the deadlock isn’t broken in talks this week.”