Week of 03/04/13 - 03/09/13

The complaints about USPS having "too many supervisors who supervise the supervision of supervisors" is nothing new. But the USPS's recent downsizing efforts have focused too heavily on unionized employees and not enough on USPS Headquarters Staffing who never "touch the mail".

Related Article
Is Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe Dooming the USPS?

Management Out Of Control

Postal Service spending millions to send execs to conference

The United States Postal Service says it is losing billions of dollars and planning to end most Saturday delivery of your mail.
But Channel 2's Scott MacFarlane has learned the agency is spending $2 million to send its top executives to a pricey conference in San Francisco.
MacFarlane has obtained the agenda for the conference which calls for not only workshops and meetings, but also a golf outing, a dance party and a dinner event.
Government watchdog groups and the Postal Service disagree over whether it's worth the money. - more on this story



Postal Service Spends Thousands On Cheesy Video Invitations

The U.S. Postal Service apparently subscribes to the Real Housewives of New Jersey school of money management: The thing to do when you're broke is to throw an elaborate party.
The Postal Service, which lost $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter, is hosting a reception with Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe on March 18 at the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco. Perhaps afraid the event didn't sound quite enticing enough on its own, the Postal Service produced a minute-long video invitation and mailed it out in a massive, 8.5-by-11-inch red box that weighs about a pound. Inside the box, which is decorated with a bald eagle in flight, is a sealed envelope containing a small electronic device that plays the video when opened. - more on this story


Bailout BS: Darrell Issa's Misinformation Campaign about the Postal Retirement Funds

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Congressman Darrell Issa, has a website entitled "Saving the Postal Service."  According to the website, "H.R. 2309, the Issa-Ross Postal Reform Act, is the only legislation that saves the Postal Service from financial collapse." 

Issa would save the Postal Service by dismantling it.  His legislation would end Saturday delivery, cut benefits to postal workers, remove the no-layoff clause from union contracts, eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs, reduce the oversight authority of the Postal Regulatory Commission, and make it easier to close post offices.  Its BRAC-style task force would "consolidate redundant post offices" in order to save at least $1 billion a year -- a goal that would require closing at least a third of the country's 32,000 post offices.

Issa's website features a cute little video called "Postal Crisis 101."  An animation shows dollar signs moving from taxpayers to postal workers while the narrator explains that unless Issa's legislation becomes law, the taxpayer is going to be on the hook for the cost of retirement benefits for postal workers.  The word "bailout" gets a lot of attention.

The video says that opponents of postal reform want "to cover this up with a fake accounting gimmick.  They call this an overpayment." 

The video is just over a minute long, so there's no time to explain the overpayment "gimmick", but the website has another page that goes into more detail.  It's entitled "Why the 'Postal Overpayment' Is Really A Taxpayer-Funded Bailout." 

On this page, Issa attempts to debunk what he characterizes as three "myths" about the overpayments in the retirement funds by giving us what he calls the "facts".   But Issa's narrative about the funds omits many important details and gives a very distorted picture.  

It's rather ironic that this misinformation campaign was paid for with our tax dollars -- the same tax dollars Issa says he wants to protect.  

Here's a rundown of the three "myths", Issa's "facts", and the rest of the story.   READ MORE »

The National Presidents' Conference of the American Postal Workers Union passed a resolution this weekend

RESOLVED: That this meeting of the National Presidents Conference go on record as encouraging APWU state and local organizations to work in coalitions with other unions and with community groups, to continue our struggle to generate grassroots support for preserving postal services and jobs, and be it further:
RESOLVED: That this body encourage APWU state and local organizations to participate, wherever practicable, in support of actions designed to rally public support for the preservation of postal services and jobs, such as the March 24 NALC Day of Action.

Communities and Postal Workers United calls on all postal unions and the public to rally in the cities designated by the NALC (go to for location near you - Note: as yet Letter Carriers Alamo Branch 421 has yet to put out any information. We will update when we hear more.)

The immediate focus on Saving Six-Day Delivery must be joined with the struggle to stop plant consolidations, stop the service reductions, sale and closures of post offices, stop and reverse privatization of postal trucking and custodian jobs, stop the delay of mail and return delivery standards. The USPS is being attacked on all sides and must be defended with a unified front. Bring the whole message to March 24th actions -- No Closures, No Cuts, No Delay of Mail.

Congress, the President and the Postmaster General must be shown the massive support of the American people for their constitutionally mandated postal service.

Jamie Partridge
for the steering committee
Communities and Postal Workers United

This Day in San Antonio History

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Royal Mail and the Harlem Shake
I wonder which section at the Plant would be able to outdo our friends from across the pond. The Manual Section... nahhh. My guess would be Automation. Man I would love to see that. Do you think the MDO would okay it.


Resident posts video of postal worker encounter in Trenton
Itís unclear what exactly a local postal worker was doing in the back of a van with a woman who walked up to his van on Saturday, but itís almost certainly not postal service work.

Trenton video - Part 2 (5:04)
Trenton video - Part 3 (21 seconds) the article


A love letter to the the Post office


Click for larger image
My Tribute to the 13 Days of the Alamo


PM Press Conference on
6-day Pkgs/5-day Mail (Feb 6, 2013)


Update - Privatization of the U.S. Post Office


Steve Hutkins, NYU professor and editor of Save the Post Office, was on BWGBH Boston Public Radio
Mark Jamison, retired USPS postmaster on Wisconsin Public Radio
Phil Rubio, history professor at NC A&T and author of There's Always Work at the Post Office, on National Public Radio.
Gray Brechin, UC-Berkeley geographer, New Deal historian, and author of Imperial San Francisco, was on WNUR This Is Hell


USPS has sold almost 950 million Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamps and raised $76.7 million for research.


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