USPS to Sell 2011 White House Christmas Ornament

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Postal Service has teamed with one of the nation’s leading companies producing decorative and commercial products to sell the 2011 White House Holiday Ornament at approximately 7,000 Post Offices across the country.

ChemArt of Lincoln, RI, has been the sole manufacturer of the annual White House Christmas ornament since the program inception in 1981, and was given exclusive retail distribution rights by the White House Historical Association. ChemArt and the association are proud to present the 36th ornament in the association’s series, which recalls the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt, his wife Edith and the couple’s young family when they called the White House home from 1901 until 1909.

"We anticipate that the ornament will be very popular — especially among collectors," said Steven Mills, manager, USPS Retail Products. "Our vast retail presence will enable the product to reach a broader audience than ever before."

The 2011 White House Holiday Christmas Ornament is now available at select Post Offices until Christmas Day for $24.99.

Also, under a licensing agreement, ChemArt will manufacture and sell holiday ornaments in 2012 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Postal Service’s Letters to Santa program. In 2013, under the agreement, ChemArt will introduce licensed Holiday ornaments based on more than 50 years of Postal Service holiday stamp images.

"All of the ornaments will be made in the USA and will be sold in Post Offices and commercial retail channels," said Gary Thuro, manager, USPS Licensing. "We are pleased to bring quality products to our customers and generate revenue for the Postal Service."

Customers can view an image of the collectible envelope on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

For 30 years, ChemArt has served as the premiere designer and manufacturer of photo-chemically etched decorative ornaments and collectibles in the United States. Since its inception in 1976, ChemArt has been a fully integrated company combining multiple technologies – etching, plating, screen printing – under one roof to control the quality of the decorative and commercial products they make. Their designers develop custom products for decoration and industry; and take pride in the fact that they are 100% handmade in America. Whether as a thank you gift, fundraising vehicle, precision part or commemorative piece, ChemArt understands what it means to have heart at the core of your organization.

via United States Postal Service to Sell 2011 White House Ornament — WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —.

Colorado congressmen meet with PMG on PO closings

WASHINGTON D.C. – As the United States Postal Service considers closing 71 offices in Colorado, Reps. Gardner and Tipton are urging its chief executive to keep in mind possible alternatives.

During a joint meeting with Post Master General Patrick Donahoe yesterday, Gardner and Tipton’s offices reiterated their concerns about the impact closures will have on rural businesses and communities. Out of 71 post offices under review by the USPS for closure in Colorado – 61 fall within the 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts.

After the meeting, Gardner and Tipton released the following joint statement:

"We acknowledge that the USPS is in need of systematic reforms, and we understand that General Donahoe has some tough decisions ahead of him. It is our hope, however, that as part of General Donahoe’s decision making process he consider other alternatives. General Donahue has indicated that the total savings nationwide that would result from the closure of all of the post offices listed in the discontinuance study would be in the range of $150-200 million annually, a fraction of the Postal Service’s $73 billion annual operating costs. It is clear that if the USPS is going to make the fundamental changes necessary to compete, it should look somewhere other than rural post offices."

Donahoe told Gardner and Tipton that he would work with their offices as the Postal Service seeks to make the fundamental changes necessary to survive in today’s competitive economic environment.

Earlier this month, Gardner and Tipton also wrote a letter to the Postal Regulatory Commission outlining the negative impact post office closures will have on rural communities.

"Traveling to distant postal facilities in the 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts during winter months could be extremely difficult, expensive and dangerous," the pair wrote. "Some post offices that appear to be in geographic proximity are in reality not readily accessible. Finally, some of these post offices that seem to service a proportionately small population are essential to the existence of small isolated communities. The potential effect of these closures should involve significant consideration of the individual or unique characteristics of the respective communities served."

USPS files final rule on new procedures for PO staffing and closings

From the National League of Postmasters:

Postal Service files for final rule with regard to 39 CFR Part 241

On Wednesday, October 26 the Postal Service filed a final rule with the Federal Register amending regulations with regard to Post Office closings. This final rule adopts changes to the staffing of Post Offices and to the definition of “consolidation”. The proposed changes would be effective December 1, 2011.

This is a very serious amendment to regulations impacting Postmasters and Post Offices. The LEAGUE and NAPUS has been in contact with our legal counsel and they are reviewing the proposed change. We will be discussing all options available to us. As more information becomes available we will bring you up to date.

The following is the history of the proposed rules changes.

April 28, 2011 the two organizations sent a letter to the PRC expressing our views on the proposed changes along with a legal opinion letter from Hal Hughes former General Counsel to the Postal Service…

May 23, 2011 the LEAGUE and NAPUS two retired Postmasters filed a formal complaint before the Postal Regulatory Commission PRC…

July 14, 2011 – Post Office issues Publication on Final Rule on Retail Discontinuance Actions…

via National League of Postmasters – Homepage.

USPS reminds employees of Hatch Act restricitons

From USPS News Link:

There are no national elections this year. But plenty of jurisdictions around the U.S. are holding municipal or state-wide elections this fall. If there’s an election in your area, remember to review provisions of the Hatch Act. It applies to all postal employees — including telecommuters.

Among other provisions, this federal law prohibits employees from engaging in political activity while on duty, in any government office, while wearing an official uniform or while using a government vehicle.

That means no shirts and no hats, buttons or other items displaying the name or likeness of a candidate or political party. The law also prohibits partisan political messages in the workplace.

Using a postal computer or telephone to make a political contribution is prohibited by the Hatch Act, as is making political contributions while on the clock. Employees who use USPS email to send partisan political messages violate federal law and risk losing their jobs. Employees who receive email containing such messages from outside the postal network should immediately delete them.

Employees can place political bumper stickers on their personal vehicles. However, there are limitations. If the car is parked on postal or other government property, the Hatch Act limits to one the number of visible bumper stickers that can be placed on the vehicle. If the vehicle is used for postal business, the employee must cover all political bumper stickers during the time the car is used for official work.

Employees aren’t completely prohibited from participating in the political process. They can register to vote and can support their favorite candidates by voting on Election Day. Employees can participate in registration drives and contribute money to political organizations. They also can be candidates for public office, but only in nonpartisan elections.

Click here to learn more about the Hatch Act. Employees also can contact their local Field Law Office for more information, call the Ethics Helpline at 202-268-6346 or send an email to

USPS Partnership Drives Record FedEx Holiday Volume

FedEx expects December 12 to be the busiest day in the company’s history, with over 17 million shipments. The company projects a ten percent increase from a year ago, driven by its SmartPost product, which uses the US Postal Service to deliver the shipments to customers’ homes:

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Oct. 24, 2011 – FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) expects to move more than 17 million shipments – almost double its daily average volume – through its global networks on December 12, the projected busiest day in company history. The 10 percent year-over-year increase will be driven by FedEx SmartPost, a residential shipping service designed for online and catalog retailers, as well as expected increased volume at FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, FedEx forecasts more than 260 million shipments to move through its worldwide shipping networks. This is a 12 percent increase for the holiday season over last year when 232 million shipments were processed.

“As e-commerce continues to grow and demand increases with more customers shopping and conducting their business online, FedEx SmartPost is poised to handle the increase in shipments,” said Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and CEO of FedEx Corp. “More than 290,000 FedEx team members also stand ready to deliver the holidays and enable commerce around the globe.”

Retail inventory such as apparel, personal consumer electronics and luxury goods as well as books and other items from large, internet retailers will account for a large portion of FedEx holiday volumes.

FedEx will increase its workforce by approximately 20,000 with seasonal positions to help handle the surge in holiday shipments at FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx SmartPost.

The impact of the expected higher volumes was included in the company’s earnings guidance issued in September.

The Holiday Retail Outlook

Holiday sales are expected to grow 2.8 percent during November and December to $465.6 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). This is higher than the average increase of 2.6 percent over the last ten years.

The NRF also reports that nearly half of shoppers (46.7%) will buy online as compared to 43.9% in 2010. According to eMarketer, holiday online shopping will increase by 12 percent during the 2011 season.

Poised for E-commerce . . . FedEx SmartPost

The FedEx SmartPost network is designed for online retailers and cataloguers who ship high volumes of low-weight shipments to residential customers. FedEx SmartPost has an integrated national network that picks up, sorts and delivers packages directly to U.S. Postal Service facilities for final delivery to residences.

The service continues to experience significant growth. As reported in first quarter earnings ended August 31, FedEx SmartPost average daily volume increased 29 percent due to growth in e-commerce and gains in market share.