The Postal Service’s Union-Busting Law Firm

(This article appears in the November/December 2014 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

With negotiations for a new contract set to begin on Feb. 19, 2015, it’s worth noting that in the past, when talks have ended in arbitration, the USPS has used the anti-union law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius to represent management’s interests.

The firm, which has more than 1,400 attorneys in 25 offices, is considered one of the leading union-busting law firms in the country.

It has a long history fighting workers. When former President Ronald Reagan fired striking Air Traffic Controllers in 1981, Morgan Lewis served as the FAA’s (Federal Aviation Administration) attorneys. The strike was a major defeat for labor; PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers union, was disbanded soon after.

Morgan Lewis also represented Major League Baseball during the 1990 spring lockout and the 1994-1995 baseball strike. And as recently as January 2014, Morgan Lewis represented Amazon, helping the online shopping giant defeat a union drive among technicians. Continue reading

Tennessee rural carrier aids customer in distress

Henderson, TN, Rural Carrier Randy Cunningham always delivers for his customers. Sometimes, he delivers the customers themselves.

Cunningham was on his route recently when he spotted a man collapse in front of his house. Cunningham rushed to the man’s side, picked him up, carried him inside and put him in a chair.

This was no small feat: The man is 6 feet tall and weighs 155 pounds.

It turned out the man, a stroke victim, was returning from a doctor’s appointment with his wife when he became too weak to stand. Coincidentally, the couple’s daughter is a Postal Service employee — Imlay City, MI, Postmaster Sandra Berger.

“I am deeply touched and grateful for the help [Cunningham] provided my parents,” said Berger. “My mom has mentioned over the years how helpful he has been in one way or another. I am proud to work in an organization that hires truly selfless people.”

via USPS News Link Story – Heroes’ corner.

Video: Mail truck overturned; neighbors say speed is an issue

PHOENIX (KSAZ) – We’ve all heard the unofficial motto of the U.S. Postal Service; "Neither snow nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

But maybe a rutted gravel road and perhaps too much speed and it may bring things to a halt.

The USPS prides itself on making deliveries no matter what, but this was not what they had in mind, a mail truck turned upside down on Cloud Road in a county island in Chandler near Riggs and Cooper.

FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

via Mail truck overturned; neighbors say speed is an issue – FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com.

Malone named USPS Network Operations VP

PMG Megan Brennan has named Linda Malone as Network Operations vice president.

Malone will oversee the Postal Service’s distribution network, including design, policies and programs, logistics and maintenance. She will report to Chief Operating Officer David Williams, who previously held the position.

Malone joined USPS as a letter carrier in Wilmington, DE, in 1985 and served in multiple roles, including district manager for South Jersey. Most recently, she served as Processing Operations manager.

“Linda’s extensive mail processing and customer service experience have been invaluable during our recent years of network rationalization changes and other corporate initiatives to enhance productivity and efficiency; improve business performance; and become more flexible in meeting market needs,” Brennan said.

OIG begins new audit of USPS mail surveillance program

From the USPS Office of Inspector General:

uspsoigA mail cover is an investigative tool used to record data appearing on the outside of a mailpiece. Law enforcement agencies use this information to protect national security; locate fugitives; obtain evidence; or help identify property, proceeds, or assets forfeitable under criminal law.

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 39 – Postal Service, section § 233.3 is the law that gives the Postal Service the authority to grant a mail cover. The regulation directs the chief postal inspector to maintain rigid control and supervision with respect to the use of mail covers. Only Postal Service personnel are authorized to record information relevant to mail covers and this information is disclosed at the direction of the Postal Inspection Service.

In our prior audit of the Inspection Service Mail Covers Program, we found responsible personnel did not always handle and process mail cover requests from external law enforcement agencies in a timely manner and external law enforcement agencies did not always return documents relating to the covers on time. The objective of our current project is to assess controls over the management of the Postal Inspection Service’s mail covers requested by Postal Service inspectors. Specifically, we will assess whether personnel:

  • Handled and processed mail covers timely.
  • Returned accountable items.
  • Safeguarded mail cover information.

Additionally, we will assess the impact of reporting mail cover statistics to the public. We will also review the status of recommendations made in our prior mail covers report.

Video: Misstep or policy: Scooter not allowed in post office

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you have to go by scooter, Pat Carroll’s is a sweet ride.

It’s also essential to her ability to get around.

“I can’t stand up for long periods of time because I got a bad leg and I’ve had five back surgeries,” Carroll said of the Progress Mobility three-wheel scooter, complete with headlights, turn signals, fenders and a 45-mile battery range.

“It’s so handy. That’s what I tell everybody that asks me. They say, ‘Oh, I want one of those!’” Carroll told Target 8.

But the people in charge of the post office on Lake Drive in Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood apparently aren’t fans of Carroll’s scooter. She contacted Target 8 after a recent trip to the post office turned frustrating.

Carroll said she has visited the station a number of times since she got her scooter over two years ago. But when she recently rode into the post office, she was told to park it someplace else.

“The girl at the front desk yelled out, ‘You can’t come in here with that.’ And I told her, ‘Yes, I can,’” Carroll said.

Read mor: Misstep or policy: Scooter not allowed in post office | WOODTV.com.

Video message to postal workers from PMG Megan Brennan

Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan outlines her vision of investing in the future of the U.S. Postal Service. In her first recorded message to all employees, she said the USPS will:

– Invest in the future, including strengthening employee training and making needed infrastructure improvements.

– Speed the pace of innovation by developing new products and services.

– Empower employees, giving them more flexibility to better serve customers.

– Build an efficient network, including continuing to streamline the Postal Service’s operational footprint.

USPS restores network services after two day outage

The US Postal Service told the Associated Press earlier this morning that it had restored its network services Friday night after an outage that had been affecting services since Thursday:

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service says it’s fixed the electronic glitch that had disrupted some services — and that everything is back to normal.

Spokesman David Partenheimer says in an email that the agency’s communication network was restored Friday night.

Clipboard01As of 2 PM EST Saturday, however, the USPS service alert page was still displaying a an outage message that had not been updated since Friday morning.

via Postal Service Back to Normal After Electronic Glitch Fixed – NYTimes.com.

Video: San Jose Mailman Who Dumped Mail in Trash Resigns

A United States Postal Service employee has resigned after someone said they spotted him throwing a pile of mail in a dumpster in San Jose.

Gus Ruiz, a spokesman for the USPS San Jose area, said the employee was new on the job and wanted to lighten his load.

"It’s an anomaly," Ruiz said.

USPS employees have been retracing the route of a new hire and searching dumpsters after he was seen lightening his load by tossing envelops in the trash outside a business along Lincoln Avenue, in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood.

via San Jose Mailman Who Dumped Mail in Trash Resigns: USPS | NBC Bay Area.