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Postie who dumped mail avoids prison because most of it was “junk”

250px-Royal_Mail.svgA postman who dumped thousands of letters over a four year period has avoided prison after a sheriff said the material was junk mail.

Kevin Ewing, 31, hid more than 5,000 items of mail between 2009 and 2014. He told Perth Sheriff Court he was finding it difficult to cope.

Ewing, from Perth, was caught after Royal Mail set up surveillance to monitor him.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis sentenced Ewing to carry out 300 hours’ unpaid work.

She said: "It might be fair to say a significant number of these items might have ended up in the recycling anyway. It all falls within the category of what the public might call junk mail.

Read more: BBC News – Postman who dumped 'junk mail' avoids prison.

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Australia Post won’t divulge boss’s salary as letters profit dives 35 per cent

Australian Post has refused to reveal how much managing director Ahmed Fahour was paid last financial year, as it reported a 35 per cent slide in profit from its crumbling letters delivery sector.

Mr Fahour was last year paid $4.8 million, which is believed to be a record for an Australia public servant. In comparison, the chief of the US Postal Service earned $384,229 in 2012.

Australia Post released its profit results for 2013-14 on Thursday and refused to disclose his salary until the annual report is tabled in Parliament in October.

An Australia Post spokeswoman said: “We are reporting our results today in line with other large GBEs [government business enterprises] and at the recommendation of our shareholder. The salary of the managing director and CEO will be made available in the annual report, yet to be tabled in Parliament.”

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The lack of transparency has angered Printing Industry Association of Australia, which represents big mail users from the print and packaging industries.

Read more: Australia Post won’t divulge boss’s salary as letters profit dives 35 per cent.

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Royal Mail profiteers quietly cashed in

Many of the “priority investors” in Royal Mail, brought in supposedly to remain long term, stable holders of the privatised service, quietly sold millions of their shares over the summer.

The 16 investors caused controversy for the Business Secretary Vince Cable earlier this year, as many of them were precisely the kind of short-termist hedge funds the minister had pledged would not make a fast profit from the sale of the public-owned postal system.

All priority shareholders were given big stakes in the company at the flotation price of 330p a share – a valuation that came under huge criticism as the share price rocketed from the first day they began trading. Since their peak at 618p, they have come down to about 440p amid concerns about competition eating away at its lucrative urban deliveries business and a regulatory inquiry in France.

Read more: Exclusive: ‘Priority investors’ sell Royal Mail shares – Business News – Business – The Independent.

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CWU backs launch of Royal Mail’s Sunday service

Royal Mail is set to introduce a new Sunday service this week (7th September) to make it easier for shoppers to receive their parcels.

The service will be piloted this Sunday in around 100 of the busiest delivery offices across the UK and deliveries will start taking place to households within the M25.

Following discussions with Royal Mail, a trial telephone service for customers will operate from this Sunday from 9am to 2pm.

Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “Royal Mail employees are keen to work with the company to improve services for customers. Delivering on Sunday is an important initiative and one of the ways in which Royal Mail, with the help of its workers, is modernising.

“We’ve negotiated that staff can opt to work on Sundays voluntarily and we’ve ensured they are properly compensated. We have worked hard to make sure that Royal Mail is committed to using full and part-time staff rather than agency workers.”

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South Africa Post Office sacks 473 workers

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Post Office (Sapo) has confirmed it has dismissed 473 casual workers who have been been on strike for three weeks.

The employees had called on management to employ them permanently and were sacked after what the Post Office says was a campaign of violence and intimidation.

The strike has caused severe delays in the delivery of mail from the Tshwane and East Rand distribution centres.

The service says it is currently in the process of permanently employing 900 casual workers but was forced to dismiss nearly 500 due to escalating incidents of violence.

Read more: Post Office sacks 473 workers.

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Security guard injured in raid at Liverpool post office

A gang attacked a security guard and stole cash in a daylight robbery at a post office in Liverpool.

The security guard was left with an injury to his face after the lunchtime assault in Childwall.

Shocked neighbours told how they heard screaming as the gang made off with a cashbox.

Police were called to Dunbabin Road after receiving reports four men, who all had their faces covered, had assaulted a security guard.

The gang, which targeted the guard at around 12.15pm yesterday, then made off with a cashbox in a blue BMW.

A spokesman for Merseyside Police confirmed the security guard had received “a minor facial injury” and that a blue BMW was later discovered abandoned on nearby Childwall Lane.

Read more: Security guard injured in raid at Liverpool post office – Liverpool Echo.

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Israel: postal strike expands to Tel Aviv

Workers from the Israel Postal Service will expand a strike covering the country’s periphery to include Tel Aviv on Tuesday morning from 8:00-11:00, as negotiations between management and workers collapsed.

The latest issue is anger at the Finance Ministry for refusing to absorb 1,500 workers who have worked for five years or more on a temporary basis. The union accuses the ministry of trying to oust permanent workers and hire the temporary ones for lower wages.

“The Treasury is determined to fire thousands of workers and hires contractors in their places, who can be easily fired and paid the minimum wage,” said Postal Union chairman Shimon Farjun.

Read more: Post service expands strike to Tel Aviv, company’s future unclear.

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Canada Post honors Canadian comedians with stamp series

403949145OTTAWA (Ont.) – Today Canada Post is honouring Great Canadian Comedians by issuing a series of stamps featuring them and some of their most memorable roles. The stamps honour the work of Jim Carrey, Olivier Guimond, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short, all chosen for their talent in entertaining and making us laugh.

“Canada is the birthplace of some of the world’s most successful comedians and our series is about some of the many Canadian comedians who keep us laughing,” says Jim Phillips, Director of Stamp Services at Canada Post.

  • Jim Carrey: Born in Newmarket (Ontario), Carrey was a natural entertainer, giving his first stand-up performance at the age of 14. It wasn’t long after Carrey became a staple on Toronto’s comedy circuit. He then moved to Los Angeles where he appeared on An Evening at the Improv and The Tonight Show and as a regular on the sketch comedy series In Living Color. Carrey then starred in some of the most successful movies of all time, including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Liar, Liar, The Truman Show, Bruce Almighty and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
  • Olivier Guimond: Rising to fame on Quebec’s burlesque scene, Guimond continued to shine at the Théâtre National, the Théâtre des Variétés, the Théâtre Odéon-Mercier, the Comédie-Canadienne and Place des Arts. Guimond starred on the popular TV series Cré Basile and appeared on the well-known Radio-Canada comedy review Bye Bye. He will always be remembered for his portrayal of Basile Lebrun on Télé-Métropole, which stands as one of Guimond’s greatest achievements.
  • Mike Myers: Born in Scarborough (Ontario), he learned to love Monty Python and Benny Hill from his father. In the early 80s, he joined Toronto’s Second City ensemble before making his mark as a cast member of Saturday Night Live, where some of his characters vaulted from the TV sketch to the big screen. He also created memorable characters, from Wayne Campbell in Wayne’s World to Austin Powers/Dr. Evil and voiced the green ogre in the Shrek movies. In 2013, he made his directorial debut with Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon.
  • Catherine O’Hara: O’Hara’s first appearance on stage was with Toronto’s Second City troupe. She moved on to television on the SCTV show, where she is remembered for playing a range of hilarious characters. Her film career took off with After Hours followed by Beetlejuice. She was memorable in the Home Alone movies, and lent her comedic talent as a voice actor in The Nightmare Before Christmas, Chicken Little, Over the Hedge and Frankenweenie.
  • Martin Short: A native of Hamilton (Ontario), Short’s comedic career kicked off by joining Toronto’s Second City troupe. He moved on to the SCTV show, creating several memorable characters that would later reappear in The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley and I, Martin Short, Goes Home. When SCTV ended, he jumped to the big screen, co-starring in Three Amigos. He also lent his voice to hit animated movies, including Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and more recently, Frankenweenie.

About the stamps

The stamps measure 40 mm x 26 mm and are available in booklets of 10. The five separate Official First Day Covers measure 191 mm x 113 mm and the souvenir sheet featuring all five comedians measures 130 mm x 95 mm. The stamps were printed by the Canadian Bank Note. Kosta Tsetsekas, Mike Savage and John Belisle of the Signals design group designed the stamps. The Official First Day Cover cancellation sites are: Jim Carrey, Newmarket, Ont.; Olivier Guimond, Montréal, Que.; Mike Myers and Catherine O’Hara, Toronto, Ont. and Martin Short, Hamilton, Ont. To download images of the stamps or to purchase philatelic products, please visit canadapost.ca/shop.

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Cuts to Canada Post hit rural areas in the Peace Region hard

In Tomslake, there isn’t much besides the post office. “That’s basically the main service now. We don’t have a cafe or anything,” said Linda Fister, a resident of the rural 350-strong hamlet southeast of Dawson Creek.

And like many rural communities across Canada, Tomslake is beginning to feel the impacts of the federal government’s cuts to Canada Post services.

Elsewhere in the Peace Region, hours are slated to be cut at rural post offices in Clayhurst, Buick, Wonowon, Prophet River, Rose Prairie and Sunset Prairie.

The Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association, the union that represents Canada Post workers, recently informed Tomslake residents of the extent of the cuts in a letter.

According to the union, Canada Post is proposing to cut hours at the Tomslake post office. The office, which is staffed by a single employee, will soon only operate for five hours a day Monday to Friday – from 10 a.m. to noon, and between 1 and 3 p.m.
– See more at: http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/news/local/cuts-to-canada-post-hit-rural-areas-in-the-peace-region-hard-1.1334194#sthash.UM4AeGn7.dpuf

Read more: Cuts to Canada Post hit rural areas in the Peace Region hard – Local – Alaska Highway News.

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CUPW: Canada Post $62 million profit proves cuts are unnecessary

cupw_logoOTTAWA, Aug. 27, 2014 /CNW/ – Canada Post’s latest profits prove what postal workers have been saying all along: alternatives to cutting postal service should not be dismissed.

“When our post office has been profitable for most of the last two decades, the types of cuts that Canada Post and the Conservatives are trying to impose on us are completely unnecessary,” said Denis Lemelin, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

“We need to do what the rest of the world is doing and make the post office a better service, not a lack of service.”

Canada Post’s case for cutting has rested on a 2013 Conference Board report that claimed traditional mail volumes would plummet, spelling disaster. Instead, the Crown Corporation has posted higher-than-expected mail volumes and significantly lower-than-predicted losses since the report was issued, including a profit in 2012.

Notably, the Conference Board report predicted Canada Post would lose $400 million in 2014 rather than showing a profit

“That ‘$1 billion by 2020′ figure the Conservatives toss around as an excuse to attack our public post office is from a report that has failed to predict anything accurately so far,” said Lemelin.

“According to Canada Post’s own annual reports, the Conference Board was wrong about 2012, they were wrong about 2013 and now they’re wrong about 2014. The report is discredited, the Conservatives are wrong and Canada Post management is wrong.”

CUPW has been pushing for postal banking, an idea steadily gaining traction in the United States, as a way to keep the postal system viable while offering much-needed financial services to underbanked Canadians.

The union points out that the upcoming anniversary of the Canadian Postal Charter provides the government with a real opportunity to consult with the public on any changes to the post office.

SOURCE Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Read more: Canadian Union of Postal Workers | Canada Post $62 million profit proves cuts are unnecessary.