PMG Blames Union, Mailers in Farewell Address

In a “farewell address” at the National Press Club on Jan. 6, outgoing Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe blamed postal unions and mailers for Congress’ refusal to enact his legislative proposals. But union leaders accused Donahoe of launching an all-out assault on the Postal Service and hiding the truth about widespread mail delays caused by his policies. “He’s not telling the truth on delivery standards,” American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein said in an interview with the Washington Post. “Instead of cutting back hours of service, they should expand hours of service,” he said. APWU President Mark Dimondstein told USA Today Donahoe was "the worst Postmaster General the Postal Service has ever seen.” NALC President Fredric Rolando told the Washington Post that "the postmaster general’s tone in his remarks with regard to the employees — and to other stakeholders, including businesses and lawmakers — is insulting." Donahoe “is mired in blaming everyone but himself,” he said.

Postal News Roundup

MLive: Michiganders Can Expect Mail Delays from Planned Closures, Postal Unions Warn
Michigan residents can expect mail delays due to the closure of the Lansing processing plant. postal unions warn, due to the closure of the Lansing processing plant which also affects about 175 jobs. A plant in Kalamazoo is slated to shut down in April.

Washington Post: Do workers want flexibility? Depends on how you define it. 
On Monday, the U.S. Postal Service’s inspector general
 posted a report with a seemingly innocuous title. “Flexibility at Work,” it read. As it turns out, however, “flexibility” means different things to different people. And the unions that represent the Postal Service’s workers saw in the report an immediate threat.

Postal News Roundup

Ridenbaugh Press: Two Economies
The looming closure of Pocatello’s regional mail distribution center, which would have a deep, widespread impact not only on greater Pocatello, but all of eastern Idaho.

Government Executive: USPS Delays Scheduled Consolidations at Many Facilities
Postal customers will, in many cases, see their mail delivered more slowly when the consolidations are completed, with overnight delivery reduced the most dramatically.

Postal News Roundup

"A service downgrade seems a sure way to ensure its demise," the DJ Journal wrote in a weekend editorial about USPS plans to slow mail delivery, effective Jan. 5.

“Anything that you might imagine that comes in one day now will be delayed to two or three days," Bradley Todd, secretary-treasurer of the Springfield [MO] Local APWU, told Ozarks First. People will lose about a day or two on mail headed outside of Springfield, the union told KY3-TV.

And in an Op-Ed column in the Denver Post, NALC President Fredric Rolando wrote that the Postal Service's financial difficulties are "a tale of red ink driven not by technological progress but rather by flawed public policy."

First-Class Mail Delays Take Effect Monday

Starting Monday, about half of first-class mail will arrive in three days, greatly reducing overnight mail delivery in the Lansing region, the Lansing State Journal has reported. John Greathouse, legislative director for the Central Michigan Area Local of the APWU told the newspaper, “The mail service that you currently receive is going to be downgraded and slowed down, in some cases dramatically slowed down. They’re getting away from what their primary mission is, which is to serve the American people.”

Postal News Roundup

How Obama Can Help Rescue the Postal Service Right Now - Fiscal Times
A revitalized Board of Governors could test the long-discussed option of Postal Service banking, providing an alternative for millions of families with little or no access to financial services, says David Dayen.

The Last Christmas for the Postal Service? It Doesn’t Have to Be - Huffington Post
We should take advantage of existing postal resources to generate revenue and capitalize on the extensive postal infrastructure across America with its trained and dedicated personnel. One obvious area that we should put into action is universal vote by mail, writes Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

Postal Service Will close 4 Processing Centers in 2015 - Wisconsin Public Radio
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) said in an interview that postal officials haven't done a thorough job of studying the effect of closures, which might slow delivery times.

Thank Postal Workers by Fighting to Save Postal Service

The Nation: "Congress failed to take what the unions representing postal workers identify as the most necessary immediate step to aid the postal service: initiation of 'a one-year moratorium on a reduction in service standards and plant closings.' Congress also failed to reach an agreement on a stand-alone postal bill," writes John Nichols of the Nation magazine. "The fight is not done, however... For Americans who hope to appreciate the service next holiday season, however, now is the time to thank postal workers by fighting to save the Postal Service."