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US Postal Service

Watchdog Finds DeJoy Invests In COVID Company, Potentially Breaking Law

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy may have broken federal conflict of interest laws by holding investments in a company with federal government contracts for COVID rapid test kits, according to a government watchdog’s analysis of the embattled Trump appointee’s financial disclosures. The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) found in a report released last week that DeJoy owns roughly between $50,000 and $250,000 of stock in Abbott Laboratories, which produces the popular BinaxNow COVID testing kits. Earlier this year, federal officials awarded Abbott a $306 million contract for test kits as part of the government’s plan to send households free tests through the United States Postal Service (USPS). Abbott also recently won a contract modification for over $1 billion for test kits.

Lessons On Fighting Privatization From The Recent Postal Service Victory

Congress recently passed the Postal Service Reform Act - the result of 15 years of organizing to end the mandate to prefund 75 years worth of retirement benefits and other changes that were hurting the people's post office. The new act opens the door to building on the current postal infrastructure to provide more services to people, especially in poor and rural communities. Clearing the FOG speaks with Chuck Zlatkin, the legislative and political director of the largest local postal worker union, about what the new law will do and how it was won. Zlatkin also discusses the fight over making the new postal fleet electric and Biden's new nominees to the Board of Governors. Zlatkin warns us not to underestimate the Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who is playing a long game to privatize the postal service.

New Reform Bill Reinforces Authority For Postal Banking

A postal reform bill that passed Congress this week could offer another opportunity to install a postal banking system in the United States, according to a review by the Prospect. While the $107 billion in savings from ending the Postal Service’s prefunding of retirement benefits and moving postal retirees onto Medicare has received most of the headlines, Section 103 of the bill, subsection 3704, restates USPS authority to partner to “provide property and nonpostal services” to federal government agencies, as long as whatever results raises revenue for the Postal Service. This would appear to supersede one aspect of a ban on non-postal products from the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, and could pave the way to providing services that mirror a bank account for any American who wants one.

Postal Reform Act Passes In Senate, Sent To President Biden’s Desk

Today, in a 79-19 vote the Senate passed the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022 (H.R. 3076). Following House passage on Feb. 8, the bill will now be sent to President Biden for his signature to become law. “This is a monumental victory for letter carriers and all Americans who depend on the Postal Service for affordable and high-quality universal service,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “I want to congratulate and thank all the NALC members who lobbied their members of Congress to win passage in the Senate and the House. Thanks to your support, dedication and action, bipartisan postal reform, that was 12 years in the making, has finally passed in both chambers.” This bipartisan legislation will improve the financial stability of the Postal Service.

The Post Office At A Crossroads

USPS has a public service mandate to provide a similar level of service to communities across the country regardless of local economic conditions. In addition to daily mail delivery to far-flung locations, the Postal Service maintains post offices even in low-income urban neighborhoods and small towns that lack other basic services. The Postal Service is able to fulfill its mission while keeping postage rates low due to economies of scale. Once the fixed costs of post offices and delivery are covered, the additional cost of new services is often minimal. If it weren’t prevented from doing so, the Postal Service could take advantage of underused capacity and build on Americans’ trust in the Postal Service to offer new services to the public while bringing needed revenue to the agency.

Postal Banking Test In The Bronx Yields No Customers

New York City - When the United States Postal Service launched a test program in September allowing people with business or payroll checks to get them loaded onto gift cards at four neighborhood post offices, it was seen as a primitive precursor to a postal banking system. But in order for the test to be successful and mature into a pilot, it has to actually be, well, tested. According to postal employees at Baychester Station in the Bronx, one of four locations nationwide where the test is being carried out, not a single business or payroll check transaction was made between September 13, when the test launched, and October 31. Some union leaders who support the postal banking concept have become frustrated by the selection of Baychester, and the lack of muscle for the project from the USPS.

‘Ten Year Plan’ Will Destroy The Postal Service; Why We Must Save It

The current US Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, and the head of the Board of Governors, Ron Bloom, launched a ten year plan that will slow mail service and raise prices. This is the final blow to defund and destroy the US Postal Service so it will be ripe for privatization. DeJoy and Bloom have financial stakes in this happening. Clearing the FOG speaks with Chuck Zlatkin, legislative and political director for the largest postal union local in the US about the plan and the devastating impact it will have on everyone who relies on the post office. Zlatkin also exposes the blatant corruption, explains how the Biden administration could save the postal service and critiques the new postal baking pilot. We have reached a point where we must act to save the postal service, or we are going to lose it.

USPS Begins Postal Banking Pilot Program

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has taken the most dramatic step in a half-century to re-establish a postal banking system in America. In four pilot cities, customers can now cash payroll or business checks of up to $500 at post office locations, and have the money put onto a single-use gift card. It’s the most far-reaching executive action that the Biden administration has taken since Inauguration Day. The move puts the USPS in direct competition with the multibillion-dollar check-cashing industry, which operates storefronts to allow unbanked or underbanked residents to cash their paychecks. According to USPS spokesperson Tatiana Roy, the pilot launched on September 13 in four locations: Washington, D.C.; Falls Church, Virginia; Baltimore; and the Bronx, New York.

20 State AGs File Suit Over Plan To Sabotage Postal Service

Twenty state Attorneys General on Friday filed a joint complaint in an effort to block changes to the U.S. Postal Service enacted last week by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and which critics warn are an overt effort to cripple the mail service from within by slowing delivery times while also increasing the cost to consumers. The official complaint filed by the 20 AGs is directed at the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), which is charged with providing independent oversight of the USPS, but which the suit alleges betrayed its mandate by allowing the controversial plan put forth by DeJoy to move into implementation on October 1 without proper review.

‘Fire DeJoy’ Demand Intensifies As 10-Year Plan To Sabotage Postal Service Takes Effect

Defenders of the U.S. Postal Service are urgently renewing their calls for the ouster of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy as his 10-year plan to overhaul the cherished government institution is set to take effect Friday, ushering in permanently slower mail delivery while hiking prices for consumers.

When Rank And File Postal Workers Whipped Bosses, Union Leaders, And Richard Nixon

The day after St. Patrick’s Day in New York City was often little more than an intense, city-wide hangover.  But on March 18, 1970 residents of the Big Apple awoke to more than just a headache.  Thousands of local Postal workers were on the picket line in defiance of both Federal Law which prohibited strikes by government employees and their own union leadership.  Within days business in the commercial and financial center of the nation ground to a halt in those pre-electronic communications days and the strike spread to more than 30 cities with 200,000 off the job.  It was a big deal.  A very big deal.

Prisons Prime Testing Ground For Dehumanizing Hi-Tech ‘Advances’

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is coming under fire again from Democratic lawmakers, as well as from the American Postal Workers Union, who are calling for President Joe Biden to pave the way for DeJoy’s removal after the Trump-appointee announced higher mailing fees and logistical changes that could further slow down mail. The US Postal Service (USPS) has already suffered a more than 50% drop in on-time arrivals for first-class mail deliveries, according to the service’s own data. Nevertheless, thanks to the ubiquitous presence of high-speed internet, the personal communications of most Americans don’t seem to be fundamentally affected by the problems at USPS. Excluding the mail-in-ballots controversy leading up to the 2020 presidential election, the majority of the country remains little more than a...

The War Against The Postal Service

The Postal Service is many things—among them, a public service; part of the nation’s critical infrastructure; a regulated monopoly; a good employer, especially for Black workers and military veterans; and a government enterprise competing with and supplying services to private companies. To take advantage of network economies, the United States and other countries shield their postal services from competition in exchange for delivering mail to far-flung and poorer regions. Like transportation and communications networks that are often publicly owned or function as regulated utilities, a national service with standardized pricing promotes commerce and guards against the concentration of economic power.

USPS Ordered To Reassemble Sorting Machines

A federal judge has ordered the United States Postal Service (USPS) to restore previously decommissioned high-speed mail sorting machines at offices that can’t process election mail fast enough ahead of the upcoming presidential election. The order is the result of a lawsuit filed by New York state in late August. In the order, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan wrote that, if a post office or distribution center is unable to process election mail, “available processing equipment will be restored to service to ensure that USPS can comply with its prior policy of delivering Election Mail in accordance with First Class delivery standards.”

Communities Of Color Hurt The Most By Postal Service Attack

With just weeks until the 2020 election, the USPS is racing to prepare for a historic surge in mail-in voting. Our recent analysis of USPS records, which we received via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, suggests that the number of mail-delivery complaints has risen since March, especially in communities of color. For nearly 250 years, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has been a cherished giant of public life. Its reach is immense: In 2019, postal workers traveled 1.34 billion miles to deliver nearly 143 billion pieces of mail around the globe.
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