Canada Post’s problems are driven by the neoliberal assault on public services

The “problems” facing Canada Post are entirely ideological.

Canada’s politicians and media have bought into a long-term project driven by right-wing notions of society and the economy that seeks to re-frame public services as “businesses” that should be run “efficiently” along the lines allegedly followed by the private sector.

While the mythology of the private sector’s supposed efficiency is nothing more than that, mythology, that is a matter for a different article.

Read the full article: Canada Post’s problems are driven by the neoliberal assault on public services | rabble.ca

USPS celebrates Soda Fountain Favorites on forever stamp sheet

NASHVILLE — The U.S. Postal Service yesterday dedicated the Soda Fountain Favorites Forever Stamp booklet featuring the cold, sweet treats beloved by people of all ages. The ceremony was held at the Elliston Place Soda Shop in Nashville.

The First-Class Mail Forever booklet of 20 stamps features five different illustrations: a double-scoop ice cream cone, an egg cream, a banana split, a root beer float and a hot fudge sundae. Continue reading

Video: USPS halts delivery for six weeks after cluster box breakin- resumes after TV news report

In April, the letter carrier wasn’t the only one who opened the mailboxes at the New Horizons condo complex.

Thieves forced open the mailboxes and destroyed the locks.Resident John Shirley stood before the mailboxes and pointed to banks of them.

“This was open, and this was open, and this was open,” he said.

Mail service stopped- for six weeks.

We reached out to the Postal Service. Within two days, it delivered. The boxes were fixed.

Source: Home Mail Delivery Halted For Six Weeks | NBC Bay Area

Video: You’ve got no mail- Franklin NC residents angered after not receiving mail for months

FRANKLIN COUNTY, N.C. — A group of Franklin County residents are upset because they say the U.S. Postal Service will not deliver mail to their neighborhood.

There are 26 homes in the Ridgemont neighborhood, but 19 of the homes have not gotten a piece of mail delivered for months.The development was built in 2007, but when the recession hit, building stopped. The first residents did not move into the neighborhood until last year.

Also, about a year ago, the postal service started requiring cluster mailboxes in new neighborhoods as a cost saving measure.

Source: You’ve got no mail: Franklin residents angered after not receiving mail for months :: WRAL.com

Oklahoma postal worker to serve year in prison for theft of mail

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Today, JEFFREY LEMON, JR., 30, from Oklahoma City, was sentenced by United States District Judge David L. Russell to serve twelve months in a federal prison for theft of mail by a Postal Service employee, announced Mark A. Yancey, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

A federal grand jury indicted Lemon on September 1, 2015, alleging that he stole money orders deposited in the mail by Postal Service customers. Lemon pled not guilty and went to trial on December 1, 2015. According to evidence presented at trial, Lemon was an employee at the U.S. Post Office in Warr Acres, Oklahoma. Evidence showed that between March 2015 and June 2015, Lemon stole money orders deposited in the mail by Postal Service customers at the Warr Acres Post Office and cashed them for his benefit. The jury found him guilty on 17 counts of theft of mail by a postal service employee. Judge Russell dismissed one count during the course of trial.

US-Department-Of-Justi_fmtAt a sentencing hearing today, Judge Russell sentenced Lemon to serve twelve months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. He was also ordered to pay $11,803.65 in restitution to the United States Postal Service, which had previously reimbursed Lemon’s victims for their losses. Continue reading

APWU Contract Arbitration Decision Expected Soon

From the American Postal Workers Union:

06/30/2016The APWU expects a decision from Arbitrator Stephen B. Goldberg by mid-July, reports President Mark Dimondstein.

“We had hoped to have a ruling by now, but Arbitrator Goldberg has informed the union and management that he is still working on his decision,” Dimondstein said.

apwulogo“I know that union members are eager to hear the outcome of our struggle for a good contract – as am I – but we will have to wait a little longer.”

More than three months of negotiations began in February 2015 and were followed by mediation and arbitration hearings.

During 18 days of hearings that focused primarily on the economic provisions on the new contract, the union and management presented their positions, called witnesses, submitted evidence, and offered rebuttals.

The three-member panel of arbitrators began its deliberations on May 4. The panel is comprised of a union-appointed arbitrator, a management-appointed arbitrator, and Neutral Arbitrator Stephen B. Goldberg, who will determine the outcome.

For more information on the negotiations and the fight for a good contract, click here.

CUPW: Why Is Canada Post Hiding The Huge Surplus In The Pension Plan?

From the Canadian Union of Postal Workers:

logo-frCPC spokespeople are always talking about the deficit in the Canada Post Pension Plan. But they never mention that the plan also has a huge surplus. And while the surplus is growing, the deficit is decreasing.

The Facts CPC Never Mentions

Here are some of the facts you will find in the 2015 Canada Post Pension Plan Report to Members:

  •  In 2015 the going concern surplus increased to $1.2 Billion from $500 million.
    (See page 2 of the Report.)
  • The actual pension surplus for 2015 was $2.7 Billion. (page 18)
  • The solvency deficit was reduced from $6.8 Billion to $6.1 Billion. (page 17)
  • The solvency deficit (market value) was reduced from $6.8 Billion to $5.9 Billion.
    (page 17)

Solvency only triggered by Plan Termination

The solvency deficit only comes into play if a pension plan is terminated. Since the federal government has ruled out privatization from the mandate of the Review Committee, there is no reason to believe the plan will be terminated. Solvency deficits are caused by low long term interest rates. Should (or when) interest rates go up by only 1%, the solvency issue will disappear entirely (see page 20).

This is why CUPW and all of the other postal unions do not believe there is any reason to change the pension plan especially given that it is running a $2.7 Billion surplus.

CPC Recognizes a Pension Plan is important – for some.

In their pamphlet attempting to sell their global offer, CPC said the following to regular Urban and RSMCs who are covered by the defined benefit pension plan: “We understand the importance of your pension. We get that it brings you peace of mind.” Yet, their proposal calls for all temporary employees and OCREs to be excluded from the pension and only receive a low value defined contribution plan. So much for caring about the peace of mind of thousands of their employees.

We demand that all employees be eligible for the defined benefit pension plan.

We all deserve “Peace of Mind”

To see the 2015 Canada Post Pension Plan Report to Members go to:

English: https://www.cpcpension.com/db/db_pubs_RTM-e.asp

French: https://www.cpcpension.com/db/db_pubs_RTM-f.asp

Sylvain Lapointe
Chief Negotiator, Urban Unit
George Floresco
Chief Negotiator, RSMC Unit

Union: Canada Post “want us out and they want the public to blame the postal workers”

From the Canadian Union of Postal Workers:

OTTAWA – Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra has officially rejected a letter from postal workers asking him to extend the July 2 deadline for a lockout by a period of two weeks, which could mean that the profitable company is indeed preparing to lock out its workforce in the middle of a public postal review, spoiling the process.

“We only got their first real ‘offer’ last Saturday and it still contained a raft of cuts to our working standards that they know we could never accept,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Canada Post’s haste to push matters to a head in the bargaining process while insisting on hefty cuts has had the CUPW crying foul from the beginning.

logo-fr“Canada Post managers started this countdown to a labour dispute by filing for conciliation shockingly early on in the negotiations process,” said Palecek.

“They don’t really want to give us a chance to settle a deal. They want us out and they want the public to blame the postal workers for management’s decisions.”

In a letter handed out to postal workers late last night, one of Chopra’s human resources executives claims that agreeing to the union’s request to extend talks would only delay matters and produce further “uncertainty” for its customers.

“So they’re going to kill the mail and remove all uncertainty, I guess” said Palecek.

The profitable Crown Corporation, which netted almost $100 million last year and is in its 20th year of profits, is trying to cut back workers’ pensions and remove job security protections, among other cuts. It is refusing to listen to union proposals for the expansion of services and pay equity for rural and suburban mail carriers, 70% of which are women.

Canada Post turns down union’s request for extension of contract talks

Global News reports that Canada Post has declined to agree to the two week extension of contract talks requested by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. The network quotes a spokesperson as saying that the company had tabled “fair” offers on Saturday, and had yet to receive a formal reply:

Given that, and the fact that any further delay will only add to the uncertainty for our customers and our employees, we cannot agree to further delays.

The earliest date a legal work stoppage could begin is Saturday, July 2.

Source: Mail disruptions loom as Canada Post turns down union’s request for extension – National | Globalnews.ca

UPS ready for more volume in case of Canada Post work stoppage

From United Parcel Service:

UPS (NYSE:UPS) If you are a business owner, an enterprise, an online shopper or planning for a special occasion, you will want to have a backup plan for your shipping needs starting  July 2, 2016. Reports of a potential labour dispute at Canada Post could impact shipping.

A news report indicates Canada Post is warning its largest customers to prepare for a work-stoppage-related service disruption. The time to plan ahead is now. UPS Canada is prepared to take on additional packages through its UPS Access Point ® Network. With almost 900 locations across Canada, businesses and consumers alike have a convenient and simple solution to pickup and drop off pre-labeled UPS shipments at a rate that offers in province, next day delivery, comparable to the published Xpresspost rate in many areas.

ups-logo“UPS Access Point locations are situated in convenient places with evening and weekend hours to fit the busy Canadian lifestyle,” said Christoph Atz, president, UPS Canada. “We are ready for additional volume, and the UPS Access Point Network is robust and prepared to serve Canadians.”

Consumers and businesses across the country use the UPS Access Point Network. For example, Canadian company GoodFood, relies on a smooth delivery to maintain its customer service standards. “The UPS Access Point Network has benefitted our customers who need flexible solutions to pickup their packages when they are not at home,” said Jonathan Ferrari, CEO, GoodFood. “We are a grocery delivery service, so we need to ensure our packages are delivered on time and the ingredients stay fresh.”

The UPS Access Point Network provides an easy solution during this critical time when routines may be disrupted and consumers are uncertain about the status of potential orders.  A new simplified shipping tool is available at ups.com/readynow. The tool helps process shipments and locate a nearby UPS Access Point location to drop off packages.  UPS notifies the consumer when the package is at the location and is ready to pickup. The alert also has the location’s address and hours.

By the end of the 2016, UPS expects to have more 27,000 UPS Access Point locations around the world.