Postal News Roundup

Retail Dive: Walgreens adding FedEx dropoff, pickup locations nationwide
“The deal between Walgreens and FedEx is like the one that office supplies retailer Staples has with United Parcel Service. Staples recently agreed to shut down similar United States Postal Service operations following outcry from the postal workers union, abetted by an unfavorable ruling from the National Labor Relations Board. The move takes advantage of the growth in e-commerce, which has an increasing number of U.S. consumers dealing with the logistics of accepting (and returning) online orders…”

The Week: England – Post Office to close 37 branches in latest franchise push 
“A further showdown between Post Office bosses and unions has been sparked by the announcement that the service is to close another 37 of its "crown" branches. According to the Communication Workers' Union (CWU), the move will put 290 core jobs at risk, plus 127 specialist financial services staff. Bosses say they intend to replace the branches with franchised concessions in retailers, in line with the vast majority of the 11,600 outlets trading under the brand across the country…”

Metro: England - Life as a Post Office employee
“I joined the Post Office as a Financial Service Specialist some eight years ago. When I was working in a Basildon branch, the bombshell announcement came – we were up for franchise. It was a huge shock and I remember that Tuesday morning very clearly. Some of the staff were lost for words, others cried and the rest of us just could not understand why this was happening. In the days and weeks that followed, the uncertainty was palpable and the confusion dominated the topic of conversation.”

AFL-CIO Blog: Union Plus Scholarships Provide the Keys for Immigrant Families to Unlock the American Dream
“Michelle Huang of Brooklyn, N.Y, whose parents emigrated from Guangzhou, China, is studying to become a pharmacist. She looks at how far she’s come along her educational journey and knows that she would have never been able to take the first steps without her father Zhantu’s membership in the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 10. Relating the story of how her father went on strike and helped pass the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, Michelle recalls, ‘My father became empowered to speak up for his rights. I am not sure how I can ever repay APWU…’” 

Postal News Roundup

Federal News Radio: Mark Dimondstein: Postal union pleased with NLRB decision
Radio interview with President Dimondstein about the end of the USPS/Staples deal. 

USA Today: Amazon says it will create 100,000 full-time jobs in U.S. by 2018
“Amazon will create 100,000 full-time jobs in the United States with full benefits over the next 18 months, the tech giant announced in a statement Thursday. The Seattle-based company says the positions are for workers across the country and across all skill and experience levels. Most of the positions will be at fulfillment centers, including new ones under construction in California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas. The new employees will also work in areas such as cloud technology, machine learning and advanced logistics…”

Washington Post: National Postal Museum director retires after 14 years leading Smithsonian branch
“Allen Kane had zero experience in museum administration when he became director of the National Postal Museum in 2002. He wasn’t a stamp collector, either. But Kane knew the U.S. Postal Service, having spent 30 years working there, including stints managing its Gulf War Crisis Team and leading its $800 million marketing effort. Because the Postal Service is the museum’s landlord and largest funder, Kane got the job…”

Postal News Roundup - Jan. 10, 2017

Workers World: The U.S. Mail is Not for Sale!’ Union victory over Staples and postal privatization
“Five years ago the U.S. Post Office, a publicly traded company, began a series of moves aimed at the step-by-step privatization of the U.S. Postal Service, a government agency and the country’s largest unionized employer. One such action was a 2013 program to farm out postal window services to so-called “postal counters” at 500-plus Staples office supply stores. The American Postal Workers Union swung into action with an ambitious campaign to beat back the Staples challenge. The APWU used many strategies, from a nationwide boycott, internet organizing and mass demonstrations at Staples stores to legal actions, USPS Inspector General investigations and National Labor Review Board appeals…”

ECommerce Bytes: Would Removing Job Security Improve the USPS?
“A lawmaker wants to remove job security for Federal employees, including postal workers. A key provision of Congressperson Todd Rokita's Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency (PAGE) Act would change the law regarding employees in the civil service so that they would be hired on an at-will basis, according to Postal News. ‘Such an employee may be removed or suspended, without notice or right to appeal, from service by the head of the agency at which such employee is employed for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all.’”

Postal News Roundup - Jan. 9, 2017

NASDAQ: U.S. Postal Service Ends Retail Deal with Staples
“U.S. Postal Service, Staples, Inc., SPLS… The U.S. Postal Service is being forced to end its deal with Staples, Inc. that offers certain services to customers. This deal was put in to place following complaints from the American Postal Workers Union over attempts to open mini post offices inside of SPLS locations…”

AFL-CIO Blog: After Years of Protest and Boycott by APWU and Allies, the Deal Between the U.S. Postal Service and Staples to Sell Postal Services Ends
“The U.S. Postal Service announced in a letter to the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) that the deal between the U.S. Postal Service and Staples has ended… This is a big win for the public, as well as the 200,000 members of APWU and the union’s allies who waged a national campaign, Stop Staples, against the office-supply chain and a battle against the USPS over the Postal Service’s partnership with the national office supply retailer…”

Postal News: GOP bill would eliminate union representation and other protections for new postal workers
“A bill introduced by GOP congressman Todd Rokita of Indiana would eliminate civil service protections, including the right to union representation for all new federal employees, including new postal workers…” 

Postal News Roundup - Jan. 6, 2017

Washington Post: U.S. Postal Service to halt retail sales at Staples stores after union complaints
“When the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and Staples birthed a retail partnership in 2013, USPS said ‘it’s time to celebrate.’ But now, that program has been sentenced to death and it is postal labor leaders who are rejoicing. They cheer the demise of a program that had been the target of a vigorous campaign by postal unions that don’t want the post office privatized. USPS will discontinue retail services at Staples stores by the first week in March, according to the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), which led the fight…”

Bloomberg: U.S. Postal Service Drops Service at Staples Amid Union Pressure
“Following union-backed boycotts and an adverse labor board ruling, the United States Postal Service has agreed to curb a controversial arrangement allowing private employees to provide its services at Staples Inc. stores... The cancellation is a coup for the Postal Service’s largest union, which mounted a three-year, multipronged campaign against the arrangement, fighting Staples’ failed attempt to merge with Office Depot Inc., and leafleting outside stores urging customers to boycott the company, according to Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union...” 

Biz Journal: After union pressure, Staples loses deal with U.S. Postal Service
“The union had waged a three-year effort against the retailer and the Postal Service for its deal with Staples. The union said the deal with Staples had essentially privatized postal retail operations and shifted postal services from neighborhood post offices to Staples locations. The union said the effort undermined the public’s right to ‘good quality and secure postal services and represented a shift of good living wage positions to low-wage jobs, thereby hurting the well-being of the communities where the union’s members lived…’”

Mercury News: Postal Service terminates Staples program amid protests by union
San Jose, CA - “The U.S. Postal Service has terminated an agreement that allowed Staples employees to operate post office desks inside the retailer’s stores, union and postal officials said Thursday. ‘The program is over,’ Augustine Ruiz, a Bay Area spokesman for the USPS, confirmed Thursday. Ruiz didn’t know how many Staples stores in the Bay Area provide postal services…”

Postal News Roundup - Dec. 30, 2016

Federal Times: Postal Service seeks supplier for benchmarking vehicle fleet maintenance
“A recent request for proposal by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General seeks a supplier well-versed in large fleet operations and maintenance. A firm fixed-price contract will be awarded for a study benchmarking best practices to support technologies and performance measures benefiting the Postal Service’s 214,933 delivery, transport and administrative vehicles...”

FedWeek: High Turnover Called a Drawback to Using Temp Workers
“The Postal Service has increasingly turned to non-career employees–who cost the agency less because they do not receive full employee benefits and privileges–but the exceptionally high turnover of such employees partially offsets the hoped-for savings, according to an IG report. The USPS currently has about 130,000 non-career employees to supplement its regular workforce in mail handling, processing and delivery but there is an annual turnover rate of 42.7 percent, well above even the relatively high 34.8 percent turnover that USPS had budgeted for, the report said...”

Postal News Roundup

Market Watch: Post office banking: an old idea getting new life
"[Low-wage workers] rely instead on costly “off-the-grid” services such as payday loans and check cashing. And plenty of others are tired of banks and would like an alternative. What if the local post office could fill this gap? Customers could complete everyday banking tasks while sending packages and buying stamps."

Huffington Post: “Underbanked” Report Shows Need For Postal Banking
"We the People should be able to use our post offices for basic banking functions like simple savings accounts, cashing and depositing checks, ATM cards and getting small loans. There is no reason not to do this."

Postal News Roundup

West Plains Daily Quill: McCaskill-Heitkamp Report Finds Rural postal service remains essential
A top watchdog study completed at the request of U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, found that the Postal Service remains essential to rural communities, regardless of whether those communities have access to rural broadband services.

Huffington Post: Three Years On From Its Sale, The Privatisation Of Royal Mail Is A Story Of Our Times
The Post Office was split from the profitable Royal Mail business in order to pave the way for privatisation - and all too predictably it is now at crisis point.