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the daily news digest of the postal world since 1998

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Video: Linns Stamp News Monday Morning Brief for September 29

Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Jay Bigalke takes a look at what a year has brought for the United States $2 Jenny Invert stamp and an update on the hunt for the elusive upright variety. Stamp production video provided courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.

Read more: Linns.com.

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Congresswoman Calls for IG Review of Brooklyn Post Office

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) wrote the Inspector General of the United States Postal Service calling for an audit of mail delivery at the Red Hook Post Office. The text of the letter is below.

September 24, 2014

The Honorable David Williams
Inspector General
United States Postal Service
1735 North Lynn Street
Arlington, VA 22209-2020

Dear Inspector General Williams:

I am writing you regarding the Red Hook Post Office located at 615 Clinton Street, Brooklyn, New York, which provides postal service to residents of Red Hook, Carroll Gardens and the Columbia Waterfront District. Given recent problems at this location, I am asking that your office conduct an audit of the accuracy and timeliness of the mail delivery process at the Red Hook Post Office.

Local residents have recently brought to my attention instances of inadequate service and unprofessional conduct, which when taken together denote a troubling pattern. This includes mail delivered to wrong addresses, missing packages, parcels that were damaged and/or missing items, and weekdays without any mail delivery at all. Often, consumers have faced challenges in seeking redress for these occurrences, which have only compounded these problems. Reports of unprofessional treatment by staff have caused many residents to rely on other privately-operated delivery services. Our residents need – and deserve – better from the United States Postal Service.

The excessive frequency and sheer volume of complaints regarding mail delivery related to the Red Hook Post Office dictate that immediate intervention is warranted. Without such action, residents of Red Hook will be left without access to essential postal services as specified under federal law. To this point, federal law (39 U.S.C. 403(b)(3)) states that "[i]t shall be the responsibility of the Postal Service to establish and maintain postal facilities of such character and in such locations, that postal patrons throughout the Nation will, consistent with reasonable economies of postal operations, have ready access to essential postal services." Under current conditions, many Red Hook residents do not have access to these services as required by law. It is further (39 U.S.C. 403(b)(1)) stipulated that the Postal Service "maintain an efficient system of collection, sorting, and delivery of the mail nationwide." Given the widespread reports of mail delivery difficulties, it appears that the Red Hook Post Office is not operating efficiently.

Given these challenges, I am requesting that your office conduct an audit of the accuracy and timeliness of the mail delivery process at the Red Hook Post Office. The Postal Service – and the Red Hook Post Office in particular – remain vital to our local residents and businesses. With your assistance it can be restored as an asset to our community. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about this matter.

Sincerely,

Nydia M. Velázquez
Member of Congress

SOURCE Office of Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez

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Letter: Postal worker lends a helping hand

A letter to the editor of the Peoria Journal Star:

goodnewsAbout 11 a.m. Sept. 18 in front of Bergner’s at Sheridan Village, I was trying to walk to my car with a bag in one hand and my cane in the other. I have multiple sclerosis, and my legs just didn’t want to go, and an angel appeared and asked me if I needed help. He was driving a postal truck (I didn’t get his name). He took my package and my arm and walked me to my car.

I was so grateful that I thanked him over and over. I hope he reads this and the postal department knows what a good person they have working for them. May God bless him.

Sue

Peoria

Read more: Postal worker lends a helping hand – Lifestyle – Journal Star – Peoria, IL.

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UK: Mail union not amused as pet company releases treat for dogs called ‘Postman’s Leg’

POSTIES are barking mad after a dog bone called Postman’s Leg was launched in stores across Scotland.

They say the natural beef bone, more than a foot long, is making fun of dog attacks on postal workers.

But the manufacturers of the £1.49 treat insist the name is purely tongue-in-cheek and pet owners see the joke with several thousand of the bones sold every week.

A spokesman for the Communication Workers Union said: “Whilst we appreciate the intended humour in the name, over 26,000 postal workers have been attacked and injured by dogs in the last six years.

“Two postmen were nearly killed in attacks in 2007 and 2008, and many others have lost fingers and parts of limbs.

“Reckless and negligent owners who fail to act when their animals attack and injure postal workers or anyone visiting their home, can now face prosecution.”

More than 26,000 posties have been attacked since 2008

The Postman’s Leg bone is sold all over the UK and Europe and is produced by Dugdale Davies Pet Treats, based in Lancashire.

Read more: Mail union not amused as pet company releases treat for dogs called ‘Postman’s Leg’ – Daily Record.

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Ireland is just now getting around to introducing postal codes

Ireland is rare in the industrialized world in that it doesn’t have postal codes—at all. In the countryside, some places don’t have street names or house numbers even. But the country is moving from one of the world’s most opaque postal systems to one of the most detailed. Ireland’s upcoming postal code system will assign numbers to every home and business in the country at a cost of $32 million.

From spring 2015, 2.2 million households will have a unique seven-character number for their address in a system to be called Eircode. (Residents will have their new numbers sent to them by post, of course.) The government acknowledges that the system will make it easier to collect tax revenues, which has led to some grumbling about the real intentions.

Read more: Ireland is just now getting around to introducing postal codes – Quartz.

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Post office worker who stole from ill woman avoids jail

A former post office employee who wept as she begged a judge to refrain from sentencing her to jail has walked free from court.

Pamela Burch (42) took £7,500 from an account belonging to a woman with mental health problems. She was caught after a nurse reported her concerns to police.

At Downpatrick Crown Court yesterday Burch was handed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

The court was told the defendant had taken the money to pay for a lifestyle beyond her means, including foreign holidays and an expensive personalised registration plate for her car.

A nurse for the woman Burch took the money from went to the post office where the defendant worked – in her home village Ballywalter – and questioned her over the withdrawals.

Read more: Post office worker who stole from ill woman avoids jail – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk.

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Indiana PMR Charged with Embezzlement

uspsoigWTVW TV in Henderson KY is reporting that a postal employee in Richland, Indiana has been charged with embezzling USPS funds. According to USPS records, the individual is a postmaster relief (PMR) who was hired in June 2013:

Authorities say that between Dec. 6th, 2013 and Feb. 1st, 2014, 26-year-old Brittney L. Thorpe, while working as a Postal Service employee in Richland, IN, took money orders and used them to obtain funds to pay her personal living expenses. The loss to the Postal Service is approximately $5,286.

Read more: Former Postal Service Employee Charged with Embezzlement – Tristatehomepage – Eyewitness News.

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Video: USPS denies insurance claim, but pays up after TV news reporter asks about it

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -– This is a problem that shouldn’t have been a problem. The U.S. Mail has been a national staple since the days of the Pony Express, it has always been dependable, except when it isn’t.

Glen Benton says, “I asked her how her new phone was, and she said she never got it. So I said what do ya mean, it says it was delivered.”

Benton bought a Samsung Galaxy Mini then shipped that new cell phone to his mom in California by priority mail. Because it was a new smartphone, he thought he’d better buy the insurance offered by the Post Office. It wasn’t much, just $3.30, a real bargain considering he would need that insurance.

“This is only the second package they lost of mine this year, but they usually find it, eventually” Benton says.

The Post Office out in California even admitted their mistake in a letter showing the intended address and the address the package was “actually” delivered to a few miles away. The supervisor there in California even said Benton “should be entitled to the insured amount…,”but nope, his claim was denied.

Read more: Get McGinty: USPS denies insurance claim.

mcginty

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Blues on Wheels

After taking a personality test online and another exam consisting mostly of questions evaluating the sharpness of my memory, I was granted a five-minute interview and hired as a city carrier assistant (CCA) for the United States Postal Service.

The CCA position, akin to a contract letter-carrier, was created in 2013 to save the USPS money and shift higher-paid transitional employees (TEs) into lower-paying jobs. Or, as one district supervisor screamed at me: “YOU EXIST TO REDUCE OVERTIME.” TEs, who were making over $20 an hour—with no benefits, no retirement, and no path to becoming a “regular”—had a short window to either take a $5 per hour pay cut and become a CCA, with the promise of making regular in the vaguely defined near future, or quit.

I was hired at $15.30 an hour, a winning wage considering the president of a local branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers union revealed that without the collective bargaining process, the USPS would be paying us $10 an hour.

Read more: Blues on Wheels – The Morning News.

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China opens express delivery market to “qualified” foreign companies

From China Daily:

Consumers will soon have a plethora of express delivery companies to choose from in China as the government has decided to open up the express delivery market to qualified foreign companies.

The decision to introduce more foreign investment in the sector was taken at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday. The central government will create a business environment in which both domestic and foreign express companies can compete fairly, said a note released after the meeting. The enhanced competition will be an incentive for domestic companies to improve their operations and services, stimulate domestic demand and create more jobs, it said.

Leading overseas logistics companies have set their sights on the Chinese market as early as 2009, when the country’s new Postal Law was implemented. United Parcel Service of America Inc has received licenses to operate express services in 33 Chinese cities, and 19 of these were granted this year. Apart from the two major hubs in Shanghai and Shenzhen, UPS also has about 250 operating facilities throughout China.

UPS expressed confidence that the "continuous market opening would facilitate greater opportunities for business growth, especially among small and medium-sized customer segments, as this growth is critical for the connectivity and competitiveness of the economy".

FedEx Corp said that it has been working closely with the relevant authorities to obtain express delivery services permits ever since the new Postal Law came into effect. Regarding the further opening-up of the package express delivery market, FedEx said it would be operating domestic business as usual in China.

Read more: Express delivery sector opens up|Policies|chinadaily.com.cn.