the daily news digest of the postal world since 1998


U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement


WASHINGTON — Leslie James Pickering noticed something odd in his mail last September: A handwritten card, apparently delivered by mistake, with instructions for postal workers to pay special attention to the letters and packages sent to his home.

“Show all mail to supv” — supervisor — “for copying prior to going out on the street,” read the card. It included Mr. Pickering’s name, address and the type of mail that needed to be monitored. The word “confidential” was highlighted in green.

“It was a bit of a shock to see it,” said Mr. Pickering, who owns a small bookstore in Buffalo.

Read more: U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement –


Husband gets 4 year prison sentence in 2010 slaying of Alabama District Manager

MARSHALL COUNTY, AL WAFF -A man charged with the murder of Alabama’s Postal Service District Manager has been sentenced in Marshall County.

Sherwin Wigley was sentenced to 173 months but the sentence will be suspended provided he serves 48 months with five years probation.Wigley pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this year for the death of Lori Wigley.

Read more: Man convicted of manslaughter sentenced – WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL.


Royal Mail delivery boss jailed for stealing £20k by opening mail

A crooked Royal Mail manager plundered thousands of pounds by stealing from letters and parcels meant for customers.

Lee Holness pocketed cash and goods worth £20,000 by tampering with post in his office at Margate delivery office.

The Star Trek fan even splashed out on a near-£2,000 flight to Florida to meet up with fellow sci-fi enthusiasts at a convention.

Read more: Margate Royal Mail delivery boss Lee Holness jailed for stealing £20k by opening mail.


UK union to take postal privatisation protest to London banks

Reuters – Trade unions opposing the privatisation of the British postal service will hold a protest next week at the London offices of the banks advising the government on the float.Goldman Sachs and UBS, located in London’s financial district, will be the focus of the protest, which forms the centrepiece of a week of activity planned by union branches across the country.

Read more: UK union to take postal privatisation protest to London banks | Reuters.


UK government claims Scottish independence would disrupt mail

The UK government warned today that an independent Scotland would face “significant technical and funding challenges” in setting up a whole new national postal service.

And, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said that with 90% of Scottish businesses reliant on the mail, they would end up suffering as the UK’s integrated postal network is broken up.

Read more: UK government claims Scottish independence would disrupt mail | Post & Parcel.


Video: Florida post office evacuated over eucalyptus oil leak

Tampa, Florida – Tampa Fire Rescue units were called to the Post Office at 1900 East 12th Avenue in Ybor City on Monday, where employees reported a package leaking an unknown chemical.

Employees moved the leaking package outside, and one person who came into direct contact of the package complained of some mild irritation to his hands.

Local first responders began decontamination of employees as a precaution, but testing eventually determined the substance was eucalyptus oil.

Read more: Post office evacuated over eucalyptus oil leak | Video |


OSHA and USPS agree on multi-million dollar safety settlement

oshaWASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the U.S. Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union have agreed to terms of a settlement that will improve safety in postal facilities across the country. The settlement follows negotiations stemming from inspections at 42 Postal Service sites in 2009 and 2010 that found violations of OSHA standards on electrical work practices. USPS contested the citations, and OSHA then sought enterprise-wide relief before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

“As a large employer, with a substantial number of affected employees throughout many different types of facilities, the U.S. Postal Service faced many challenges in improving their electrical safe-work program,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “In entering this agreement, OSHA recognizes the Postal Service’s commitment and dedication to worker safety.”

As part of the settlement, which covers all Postal Service facilities nationwide, including processing and distribution centers and post offices, USPS has revised its written policies and procedures on electrical work, prohibiting workers from working on electrically energized equipment except for a defined set of tasks that can only be performed while equipment is energized, such as troubleshooting and testing. To ensure compliance with these electrical safety policies, USPS will assign a trained electrical work plan coordinator at each facility. In addition, USPS will provide and require the use of electrically protective gloves and full body arc flash protection for energized work, including voltage testing.

“Employee safety has always been a top priority for the Postal Service,” said Jeffrey Williamson, USPS chief human resources officer and executive vice president. “We are happy to have resolved this issue amicably and in the best interests of the safety of our employees.”

USPS has also agreed to audit the implementation of the electrical safe-work program at all maintenance-capable facilities, and report the results in detail to OSHA quarterly during the two-year term of the agreement. In addition, OSHA will meet with the Postal Service on a regular basis to discuss the results of OSHA monitoring inspections and USPS audits, as well as any concerns or problems encountered. Also, USPS will retrain all employees performing electrical work to comply with OSHA requirements for electrical work. Supervisors and affected employees also will receive additional training on electrical safe-work practices.

Cliff Guffey, president of the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, said, “The APWU is pleased to be a part of this landmark commitment to worker safety, which will ensure the protection of postal workers from electrical hazards.”

Under the settlement, the Postal Service has agreed to pay $100,000 at signing and a suspended payment of $3 million pending full abatement of the hazards. OSHA will monitor the Postal Service’s progress toward abatement and evaluate that progress against negotiated milestones.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit



Postmen refuse to deliver to seaside road because of risk of being dive-bombed by seagulls

Postal workers are refusing to deliver to a seaside cul-de-sac because dive-bombing seagulls keep attacking them.

Officials at Royal Mail said petrified postal workers have been injured by the birds swooping down from the rooftops and pecking at their heads.

It is believed the gulls are launching their aerial attacks to protect their nests and young but that they are also being enraged by the postal workers’ brightly-coloured uniforms.

Read more: Postmen refuse to deliver to seaside road because of risk of being dive-bombed by seagulls | Mail Online.


Russian Postal Service Moscow Director Forced Out

MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) – The head of the Russian postal service’s main delivery department in Moscow has been dismissed due to numerous violations under his watch, including the so-called mail collapse in April when a backlog of hundreds of international parcels began stacking up at Moscow airports, a source in the Russian Post said Monday.

“Mail is frequently kept outside, in the snow and rain, or carelessly thrown out of train cars. These issues were a major reason for the departure of [department head Vladimir] Kim,” the source told the Prime news agency, a RIA Novosti affiliate.

Read more: Russian Postal Service Moscow Director Forced Out – Source | Business | RIA Novosti.


Royal Mail pay rise rejected by CWU

The union that represents postal workers has rejected a proposed 8.6% pay increase from Royal Mail, amid privatisation plans.Royal Mail has offered 125,000 workers the three-year pay rise, as well as bonuses and other changes to conditions.But the Communication Workers Union CWU described the offer as "misleading and unacceptable".The government is planning to sell the operator to the private sector.

Read more: BBC News – Royal Mail pay rise rejected by CWU.