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Postal News Roundup

Postal Service suspects mold sickened 2 central Minn. post office employees

Star Tribune - “Mold in a central Minnesota post office is suspected of sickening two employees, and operations were quickly suspended until the building can be deemed safe, the U.S. Postal Service said Tuesday. The landlord disputes the contention.”           

Postal Union: Albuquerque Offices In Shambles

KRWG - “Members of the union that represents some 400 U.S. Postal Service workers in Albuquerque say the postal facilities in New Mexico's largest city are a shambles, without enough employees to keep offices clean or ensure mail arrives in post office boxes on time. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports union representatives blame staffing cuts and a lack of capital improvements, saying the Arizona district that oversees New Mexico's mail operations gives short shrift to its neighbor.”        

Locals concerned after Postal Annex closes abruptly

KESQ - “Customers are concerned after a Coachella Valley Postal Annex in Indio shut down without warning.”

Trump’s silence about post-office report suggests his pricing claims proved false

Market Watch - “President Trump has been mum about the task-force report on the U.S. Postal Service he ordered in April and received last month, which J.P. Morgan analyst Brian Ossenbeck interprets as a sign that Trump wasn’t very happy with the outcome: ‘Moreover, after key Congressional committees recently viewed contracts with Amazon, FedEx and UPS we believe Trump’s loss-per-package talking points [were] clearly a hazardous guess.’”     

Boxing match The Trump administration takes on the international postal system

The Economist - “Since Donald Trump became president, economists have been fretting that America is bent on undermining international institutions.”

UPU Director General Addresses eBay, Ecommerce, and Reform

Ecommerce Bytes - “Ecommerce and the business of international mail exchange were key themes coming out of the first day of the special meeting of the Universal Postal Union this week, as was the topic of reform. The UPU is facing pressure as developed nations seek a change in the terminal dues system and with added pressure from President Trump, as EcommerceBytes detailed in this post.”

Bentley Partners with U.S. Postal Service to Train the Next Generation of Direct Mail Marketers

Bentley.edu - “How powerful of a marketing tool is direct mail in today’s digital world? Very powerful…Marketing students at Bentley are learning firsthand about the power of paper through a new class on direct mail marketing that was created with input and participation from the United States Postal Service. The Postal Service plans to use this unusual partnership between industry and higher education as a national model, taking the course developed at Bentley to other universities across the country to demonstrate the value of direct mail.”

Amazon orders 20,000 vans to build delivery fleet, quadrupling its original purchase

USA Today - “Amazon has ordered 20,000 vans for its new delivery program in which contractors around the country can launch businesses that deliver packages for the online retailer.”

House Republicans Organize Letter Asking Trump to Reverse Pay Freeze

Government Executive - “A group of House Republicans are organizing a letter to President Trump asking him to reverse his decision to freeze federal employees’ pay in 2019. The letter, which lawmakers will send to the White House on Friday, has bipartisan backing, and was spearheaded by Rep. Scott Taylor, R-Va. It follows a similar letter from a group of House Democrats addressed to congressional leadership, asking for legislative action to ensure at least a 1.9 percent raise for civilian workers.”

As NAFTA Talks Resume, U.S. and Canada Stand Firm on Their Key Priorities

The New York Times - “In an interview on Fox on Sunday, Richard Trumka, the president of the powerful A.F.L.-C.I.O., said that the economies of the United States and Canada were so integrated that excluding Canada from a trade treaty would be logistically difficult and counterproductive. “It’s pretty hard to see how that would work without having Canada in the deal,” Mr. Trumka said.”

Large majorities of Americans want to preserve Obamacare's consumer protections, new poll finds

Los Angeles Times - “Three-quarters of Americans want to preserve key protections in the Affordable Care Act that bar health insurers from turning away sick customers, according to a new poll that highlights the political pitfalls of current Republican efforts to roll back the safeguards. The consumer protections are most popular with Democrats and independents, but even 58% of Republican respondents said a provision in the healthcare law prohibiting insurers from denying coverage because of person’s medical history is ‘very important.’”

How Trump is failing the workers who love him

The Week - “Over the weekend, Fox News' Chris Wallace asked Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO (the country's largest labor federation), how he'd score Trump's efforts so far on behalf of working people. ‘Unfortunately, to date, the things that he's done to hurt workers outpace what he's done to help workers,’ Trumka said, listing a whole string of topics — from infrastructure to taxes to regulations to trade — on which the president has either failed to deliver or actively made things worse. Trump fired back on Labor Day, tweeting, ‘Richard Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO, represented his union poorly on television this weekend. Some of the things he said were so against the working men and women of our country, and the success of the U.S. itself, that it is easy to see why unions are doing so poorly’ Of course, Trump's response failed to address a single one of the substantive points Trumka brought up. This is likely because there isn't much Trump could say to counter Trumka's charges.”

20 years of government data says raising the minimum wage could be good for workers, businesses, and the economy

Business Insider - “The effects of raising the minimum wage have been debated for decades, but a study published in March by the US Census Bureau found that a raise in the minimum wage increases earnings growth, and increasingly does so over the long-term, all without declines in employment.”

Naughten says complete shutdown of postal services was 'undeniable' before retirement package plan

The Journal - Ireland - “Minister Denise Naughten has said that without the recently announced closure of 159 rural post offices, the country would be faced with the complete shutdown of postal services… Speaking ahead of the committee meeting today, members of the Rural Independent Group said there must be accountability for the move… Kerry’s Danny Healy-Rae said the closures would tear the “heart and guts” out of rural Ireland, and that the guarantee that people wouldn’t have to travel more than 15km to access post office services was cold comfort.”

Turkey presses ahead with global postal services reform

Anadolu Agency - Turkey - “Turkey presses ahead with global postal services reform ... Turkey on Monday presided the extraordinary meeting of the global postal union”