Decline in union membership costs nonunion workers $133 billion annually in lost wages


In the new report, Union decline lowers wages of nonunion workers: The overlooked reason why wages are stuck and inequality is growing, Washington University sociologist Jake Rosenfeld and co-authors find that the dramatic decline in union density since 1979 has resulted in far lower wages for nonunion workers, an impact larger than the 5 percent effect of globalization on their wages found in recent research. Specifically, nonunion men lacking a college degree would have earned 8%, or $3,016 annually, more in 2013 if unions had remained as strong as they were in 1979. Continue reading

USPS reveals Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly stamp

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service today announced that it will issue the Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly stamp as a 68 cent nonmachineable stamp. It will be for use on irregularly sized envelopes, such as square greeting cards, invitations and announcements. Details on the date of the stamp issue will be forthcoming.

Nationally acclaimed artist Tom Engeman created the stamp design on a computer using images of preserved butterflies as a starting point. The result is a highly stylized, simplified image of an Eastern Tailed-Blue rather than an exact replica.

The Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly (Cupido comyntas) is named for the iridescent blue color of its upper wing surface, more vivid in the male, and for the short, thread-like tail on each hind wing. Females are often slate grey, sometimes with vivid blue coloration close to the body. This 2016 stamp depicts a first-generation male, which displays the species’ brightest coloration. Each year sees two or more generations, the latter being less colorful.

The square format of the stamp was developed in collaboration with the greeting card industry specifically for oversized or square envelopes. These envelopes cannot pass through the automated Postal Service processing system and have to be hand-cancelled. The envelopes are charged a non-machineable surcharge even if they weigh less than 1 ounce. Greeting card envelopes printed with a silhouette of a butterfly indicate the need for additional postage — or the use of a butterfly stamp. Any nonmachineable envelope, like oddly-shaped or vertical envelopes, as well as lumpy envelopes, rigid envelopes and mail with clasps, ribbons and buttons may use this stamp.

These nonmachineable surcharge stamps will be issued in panes of 20. The words “NON-MACHINEABLE SURCHARGE” on the stamp indicate its usage value. Like a Forever stamp, this stamp will always be valid for the rate printed on it.

Once released, customers may purchase the Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly stamps at, at the Postal Store, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Office locations nationwide. A variety of stamps and collectibles also is available at

Source: USPS reveals Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly stamp

Canada Post contract mediation continues

From the Canadian Union of Postal Workers:

We continue to work long hours with the assistance of Special Mediator William Kaplan and the head of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, Guy Baron, in an attempt to finalize our negotiations. 

Trying to Achieve Agreements 

The mediators are busy working with both parties to get to the point where agreements in principle are possible. Despite all this work, we have not yet succeeded in achieving agreements in principle for either bargaining unit. 

Special Mediator Reappointed 

The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk – Minister of Labour has reappointed Special Mediator William Kaplan for up to two more days and he will continue working with the parties until Tuesday, August 30, 2016. 

Another 24-Hour Extension 

The parties have once again agreed to extend the 72-hour notice for 24 hours. This means all job action is postponed until 00:01AM on Wednesday, August 31st.  Also, all changes to conditions of employment are postponed, for the 24-hour period, and the collective agreements remain in effect. As we have throughout negotiations, we remain determined to negotiate collective agreements that will meet the needs of postal workers and improve services to the public.

Florida: customers concerned about packages left on top of mailboxes

Neighbors in the an Atlantic Beach neighborhood say a postal carrier left packages on top of their mailboxes several times last week.

mail_20160830021526626_5786589_ver1.0_640_360Neighbors in the Ocean Walk neighborhood said their usual mail carrier brings the packages to the door.

They said this past week, they believe they had a substitute.

Julian Johnson does tree work in the area and saw what neighbors were talking about.

“I’ve seen a lot of that stuff and the mail shouldn’t do that kind of stuff,” Johnson said.

Source: Atlantic Beach neighbors concerned about packages left in mailboxes

eBay petition asks Trudeau government to take action to end Canada Post uncertainty 

As uncertainty continues about possible labor disruptions at Canada Post, eBay sellers who rely on the crown corporation to deliver their products are asking the government to step in. Here is the text of a petition posted on eBay’s Main Street web site:

We, the undersigned Canadian eBay sellers, are writing to raise concerns about the negative business implications of the ongoing Canada Post Corporation/Canadian Union of Postal Workers negotiations and to encourage your government to explore legislative solutions to the current situation.

ebaymainstreeteBay sellers, like other small and medium businesses (SMBs) across Canada, have been dealing with this uncertainty for months; we have been forced to adapt our businesses and make other shipping arrangements for our goods. In demonstration of our resiliency, many eBay SMBs have created a patchwork of alternative solutions, but the work involved in doing so negatively impacts our productivity and competitiveness, and as such, these arrangements are unsustainable.

Canada Post’s role as an enabler of ecommerce drives not only Canadian parcel volume but also unlocks tremendous economic potential among Canadian small businesses: Technology-enabled sellers, such as SMBs on eBay, export at a rate of 99.8% and reach 20 markets on average every year – results far better than those of traditional SMBs. As Canada looks to support SMB innovation and trade, these micro-multinationals demonstrate what is possible while also underscoring the importance of key infrastructure like Canada Post.

With the above context in mind, we strongly encourage your government to take the actions necessary to implement a long-term agreement to restore certainty in Canada’s postal service and ensure consistent, reliable support for Canadian SMBs.

Source: Make Your Voice Heard!

USPS to issue Star Trek stamps Friday in NYC

On September 2, 2016, in New York, NY, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the Star Trek stamps (Forever priced at 47 cents) in four designs, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps (Item 474000). The Star Trek pane of 20 stamps ($9.40) may not be split and the stamps may not be sold individually. The stamps will go on sale nationwide September 2, 2016.

In 2016, the Postal Service celebrates the television show Star Trek on the 50th anniversary of its premiere. Four new stamps showcase four digital illustrations inspired by elements of the classic program: the Starship Enterprise inside the outline of a Starfleet insignia against a gold background, the silhouette of a crewman in a transporter against a red background, the silhouette of the Enterprise from above against a green background, and the Enterprise inside the outline of the Vulcan salute (Spock’s iconic hand gesture) against a blue background.

startrekThe words “SPACE…THE FINAL FRONTIER,” from Captain Kirk’s famous voice-over, appear beneath the stamps against a background of stars. The Heads of State designed the stamps and created the artwork. Antonio Alcalá was the project’s art director.Pictorial Postmark Art

Canada Post Union’s Job Action Put Off For One Day As Talks Continue

From the Canadian Union of Postal Workers:

OTTAWA – As tense negotiations continue between postal workers and Canada Post management, the rolling overtime ban that was to start after midnight on Sunday has now been put on hold for 24 hours.

“We’ve amended our notice in a last-ditch effort to reach a negotiated agreement before we are forced to start working to rule,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the CUPW.

cupw_logo“Postal workers are more than ready to take action for pay equity, pensions and decent jobs if that’s what it takes but we’ll keep talking if there’s a chance to settle this peacefully.”

Negotiations are continuing with the help of a government-appointed special mediator.

Canada Post workers to refuse overtime in Alberta and NWT

OTTAWA, Aug. 28, 2016 /CNW/ – Job action in the form of a refusal of overtime will start in the province of Alberta and in the Northwest Territories on Monday morning if no settlement is reached, according to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. However, the Union wants people to know they’ll still be getting their mail.

“Our action will cause little to no disruption for the public. We’ll still be delivering mail every day,” explained Mike Palecek, national president of the CUPW.

“We simply want to draw attention to our negotiation issues by asking our full-time members across the country to work only their scheduled hours. Part-time members can still extend to eight hours but will not accept overtime.”

cupw_logoOvertime has been a major issue for the Union, which has been demanding that Canada Post staff its workforce properly and build routes that match scheduled hours, instead of overburdening workers and making them stay on the job longer.  Postal workers can be forced back and severely disciplined for refusing overtime.

The Union says Canada Post should be creating more jobs instead of relying on so much overtime.

“Nobody should be forced to stay at work once they’ve done their hours. We all deserve to see our families and have lives outside our workplaces,” said Palecek.

The overtime ban will rotate from province to province, one day at a time.

“We hope our action will put some pressure on Canada Post to negotiate and to realize that pushing us around isn’t going to work,” said Palecek.

In response to the minimal rotating job action, Canada Post has said it will cut off maternity and adoption leave as well as insurance and other benefits, and cancel the workers’ vacations.

Top stories of the week August 21-27


The week’s most read stories:

  1. USPS makes changes to package tracking
    USPS News Link
  2. Canada Post cancels postal workers’ vacations, sick leave, maternity & adoption benefits effective today
  3. Connecticut: police mistake postal worker for package thief
    Bristol Press
  4. Video: Letter carriers not always visited by a friendly face
    WNCT TV Charlotte
  5. Postal workers, contractors among 33 charged in California crime sweep

  6. USPS manager saves rural carrier’s life
  7. APWU President tells convention ‘We Can Forge Ahead, Build Power & Win!’
    APWU News
  8. Video: Neighbors not getting mail, medication; USPS says road isn’t safe to turn around
    WVLT Knoxville
  9. Video: Worst post office in NYC? Customers wait for hours at Flatbush Station
    CBS News York
  10. 3 US Postal Service employees arrested, charged with bribery