UPS Raises Shipping Rates
"Rates for UPS Ground, UPS Next Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 3 Day Select and U.S. international services will rise 2.9 percent."
Internal e-mail reveals Postal Service may have mishandled ballots
"The same day postal officials publicly denied responsibility for 58,000 missing absentee ballots, an internal e-mail sent by the South Florida District Manager to his employees expressed concern that his staff was not handling ballots within the region properly."
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
ICANN approves .post domain
"The Universal Postal Union in Bern, Switzerland, wants ".post" for national postal services, local post offices, business partners and stamp collectors around the world. Private companies that provide postal services, such as Federal Express and UPS, also would be eligible."
Mailer Groups Mixed on New USPS Standard Mail Rules
"Mailing industry observers gave mixed reactions to the U.S. Postal Service's new rules for standard mail eligibility and centralized structure for making pricing and classification decisions. In a press conference Wednesday, USPS VP Stephen Kearney unveiled new rules governing what mailings qualify for standard mail (as opposed to the more expensive first class)."
USPS publishes new Standard Mail eligibility standards
The revised standards clarify the circumstances in which mail containing 'personal' information may be eligible for Standard Mail, rather than First-Class Mail, rates. The USPS also published yesterday a proposed rule 'to require an endorsement requesting forwarding or return on certain mailpieces containing checks sent at Standard Mail postage rates.'
Postal unions address cutbacks
Budget cutbacks are accomplishing what neither rain nor snow nor gloom of night could do: making the mail late and a mailbox harder to find. That's according to officials with three unions, who charged yesterday that Postal Service cutbacks have led to slower deliveries and fewer collection boxes on Manhattan sidewalks.
New York Daily News
USPS faces first USERRA appeal
"In the Postal Service case, the reservist alleged that his military duties were the motivating factor in his dismissal from a 16-week associate supervisory training program. The Labor Department's Veterans' Employment and Training Service - which is the first office to see veterans' employment cases - determined that the complaint had merit, but the agency could not reach a settlement with the Postal Service. The case was then turned over to OSC."
Postal managers may face tougher performance-pay standards in ’05
"The U.S. Postal Service and leaders of postal management organizations are considering tougher standards for pay-for-performance raises in fiscal 2005. ... [NAPS President Vince] Palladino said that under draft goals, higher percentages of second-day Priority mail, overnight, second-day and third-day first-class mail must be delivered on time. The number of sick days and accidents in fiscal 2005 must be lower than the previous year. There would be no change in the next-day Express mail delivery rates, Palladino said."
NALC responds to Bush accusations against letter carriers
The Bush campaign has accused carriers of "failing to deliver election mail in Florida and other states 'from homes that appear Republican'". NALC President Bill Young responded "It is a shame the Bush-Cheney campaign chose to denigrate the reputation of hard-working letter carriers across the nation by publicizing these unsubstantiated rumors without any evidence of their validity. The Bush-Cheney campaign owes every letter carrier in America an apology."
Click on comments to read the text of the Bush letter.
Is time right for bulk-mail pictorial permits?
"If the photo-stamp experiment is not revived, Vermont stamp collector John A. Lutz thinks his idea for a form of personalized postage could be a likely replacement, especially for bulk mailers. The photo-stamp project, which was operated experimentally by Stamps.com of Los Angeles, ended Sept. 30 after seven weeks. The United States Postal Service is evaluating the program. For three decades, Lutz, publisher of a line of high-priced stamp albums, has been championing the use of pictorial bulk-mail permits."
Postal Employees Invited to Join Class-Action Suit on 'Clock Rings'
"Postal employees have been invited to join a lawsuit against the Postal Service if their clock rings were arbitrarily deleted by management in order to avoid overtime pay. Private attorneys representing four postal employees – including two APWU members – have filed a lawsuit against the USPS, and are seeking to establish the suit as a nationwide class action."
APWU News Bulletin
UPS Net Income Rises 20% in Q3
"United Parcel Service reported solid third-quarter growth yesterday, with revenue rising 7.7 percent and net income increasing 20.4 percent. For the three months ended Sept. 30, worldwide average daily volume rose by 445,000 packages to 13.7 million, or 3.4 percent."
Thursday, October 21
NALC preparing national grievances on DOIS and COR
"I have asked the CAU to prepare national level Interpretive Step grievances protesting the use of the DOIS and the COR programs," Young said. "I am deeply troubled that the Postal Service is making a number of important decisions on the basis of information contained in these two systems that I think is flawed."
NALC President Bill Young in the NALC Bulletin
Advo 4Q Profit Falls 10 Percent
"Direct mail company Advo Inc. reported Thursday that fourth-quarter earnings fell 10 percent because of start up costs at new facilities in Southern California and Pittsburgh and minor losses from Florida hurricanes, but still beat analysts' estimates for the quarter."
Commentary: Postal Reform: There's More Work to Do
"The good news in the fight for postal reform is that there has been more legislative progress during the current session of Congress than there has been since John McHugh started the crusade in 1995."
DMA Government Affairs committee chair John Van Horn writing in Catalog Age
"You need to dig deep to determine whether a second George W. Bush presidency or a John Kerry presidency would be best for catalog businesses. The key political issues of concern to catalogers — use taxes, postal affairs, privacy regulation — obviously aren't commanding the same attention as the war in Iraq, terrorism, or unemployment rates."
What Can We Expect With The Next Rate Case Filing?
"Current projections point to increases that will average between seven percent and 12 percent across all classes of mail. Obviously, if those are the average numbers, some rates will increase more while other rates will experience smaller increases. Unfortunately, it looks like Periodicals and Standard Mail will be hit the hardest."
Commentary by Joe Schick, Director of Postal Affairs, Quad/Graphics
You've got political mail: facing the campaign flood
"One piece looks like an express envelope sent overnight, complete with a tracking number and the signature of the sender: Democrat John Kerry. Another has a voter-registration application folded inside a card featuring an image of Ronald Reagan, the popular Republican president who died this year after a long battle with Alzheimer's...."
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Phone, e-mail Get Top ROI in New DMA Survey
Call it a study in contrasts. Americans have signed up for the Do Not Call List in droves, but people are still responding to the ring. A Direct Marketing Association response rate survey released yesterday put telephone marketing at the top of the chart for ROI, with a 5.78% average response rate.
Charities protest Combined Federal Campaign rule for employee "terrorism" checks
One of the largest national nonprofit associations in the United States on Oct. 12 condemned the Combined Federal Campaign’s requirement for participating charities to check their employees against terrorist watch lists.
Federal Times In a related story, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported last month that "The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has warned 12 big charity coalitions that raise money through the Combined Federal Campaign that they have violated federal regulations and must fix problems in their operations or risk getting kicked out of the drive."
FBI increases reward in ricin case
"The FBI has increased a reward to $120,000 for information leading to an arrest of anyone responsible for leaving a package containing the deadly poison ricin at a South Carolina postal facility a year ago."
Leaking insecticide sickened postal workers
"A chemical that sickened several postal workers and closed a mail annex for several hours Wednesday night was identified as Diazinon, an insecticide banned from residential use."
Rocky Mountain News
White Powder Still Making News 3 Years Later
"It has been three years since anthrax infiltrated the U.S. mail system, and it's still on the minds of many as reports of white powder close offices, newspapers, postal facilities and mail firms around the country on a weekly basis."
Thursday, October 14
Police, postal workers and worried wife watch carrier deliver mail
"The worried wife of a postal employee drives down Clanton Street. U.S. Postal Service officials canvas one block, Shreveport police patrol the other. All to ensure that the letter carrier is out of harm's way while delivering mail in the 1400 and 1500 blocks of the Caddo Heights street."
PRC OKs Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box Test
The Postal Rate Commission approved the U.S. Postal Service's proposal for a two-year experiment to test two flat-rate Priority Mail boxes. The rate for the boxes is $7.70, regardless of package weight and destination. The USPS chose the rate for customer convenience: Two Priority Mail $3.85 stamps will cover the postage exactly, with no need to look up zone charts or weigh the parcel. Consumers or businesses, however, can put any type of stamps or meter strips on the boxes.
PRC Backs Discover NSA
The Postal Rate Commission approved the U.S. Postal Service's proposal for a three-year negotiated service agreement with Discover Financial Services Inc.
Trashing this program means everybody loses
A local Postal Service program that salvaged books, merchandise and CDs from piles of dead mail has been killed by a new manager. The program, created in 1998 by employees at the Tacoma Processing and Distribution Center, generated thousands of dollars in donations to nonprofit agencies and saved thousands of dollars in landfill fees.
Tacoma News Tribune
Wednesday, October 13
Postage Behind New Mexico Voter Ballot Scam
The Albuquerque Journal reports in its print edition that voters casting absentee ballots are receiving telephone calls "telling them the postage is wrong, then offering to pick up the ballots in an attempt to make sure votes for their respective candidate or interest get in". The USPS and the county clerk's office say the calls are some kind of scam, and that the postage on the ballots is correct- the newspaper was unable to track down the callers.
Postal plant closures mean delays for parcel delivery in Canada
The Calgary Herald reports that "a change in how the U.S. Postal Service routes packages into Western Canada means it's probably a good time for Calgary Christmas shoppers to buy Canadian." The story says that "Calgary is in for its first holiday season without a postal clearing house that handles American parcels". It quotes a spokesman for the Canada Border Services Agency as saying that the USPS opted not to ship parcels to Calgary or Winnipeg, so incoming mail centers there have been closed.
Calgary Herald (subsciption site)
Hamilton P&D slowly recovering from anthrax attack, cleanup
"Three years after Mercer County learned it was the starting point for the nation's first bioterrorism attack, the Route 130 mail facility where at least four anthrax-laced letters were processed slowly is returning to life. The first-known anthrax letters were postmarked Sept. 18, but it wasn't until three years ago today that officials announced the letters passed through the U.S. Postal Service's Route 130 mail distribution and processing facility in Hamilton."
Postmasters to Connect with Local Businesses
"USPS is launching a new program that will reward Postmasters for connecting with their local businesses. The effort is an extension of Customer Connect and seeks to educate local businesses on USPS.com and how it can serve all business segments. The new program intends to use Postmasters and station managers to create awareness of USPS.com with businesses and business leaders."
Lawmakers doubt Bush's commitment to postal reform
"Lawmakers of both parties are frustrated by the White House’s inaction on legislation to overhaul the way the U.S. Postal Service operates. House Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., is frustrated that the White House does not appear to recognize the urgency of reforming the Postal Service and has not lent its clout to advance the bills, said Davis spokesman David Marin."
ADVO Declares Quarterly Dividend
ADVO announced today that its Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.11 per share of common stock payable on November 5, 2004, to stockholders of record on October 22, 2004.
Tuesday, October 12
Royal Mail could be privatised during next parliament
"Any sell-off of the Royal Mail would be contentious, sparking a clash with trade unionists. The Communication Workers Union is looking for assurance that there will be no sale. Allan Leighton, the Royal Mail chairman, is said to favour a partial sell-off with workers getting shares as part of a motivation package."
Postal carriers aid search for child
Postal carriers distributed nearly 60,000 fliers as the search continued yesterday for 3-year-old Tyreek Davis, who was last seen with his mother's boyfriend more than a week ago.
Richmond Times Dispatch
Residents give a temporary good-bye to McKeesport postal worker Francis Rozgonyi who's set to be deployed by the military.
McKeesport (PA) Daily News
Commentary: Did PhotoStamps Have to be Cancelled?
"At a time when first-class mail use has been declining, and is facing further declines in the years to come, if a few miscreants want to spend more than twice the cost of a stamp to put controversial figures on 'em, power to them."
Appropriations Shortage Could Hurt USPS
"Most mailers are aware that the size of a postage rate increase in 2006 could grow heavily if postal reform legislation is not signed into law during this session of Congress. What they might not know is that the current lack of funding in both the House and Senate postal appropriations bills could force postage rates to rise even higher."
Merck will pay UPS costs to return Vioxx
"Merck had instructed buyers to return unused pills in the original pharmacy packaging, along with the receipt, by U.S. mail for a refund. But USPS rules allow only manufacturers, pharmacies and licensed vendors to mail prescription drugs. Merck spokeswoman Anita Larsen said the company had gotten complaints about mailing problems, and, starting today, will change its refund instructions."
St Louis Post Dispatch
APWU posts election updates
The APWU is posting results of their national election as ballots are counted: "Unofficial results are being posted and will be updated frequently. Official results will be posted as soon as they are certified by the Election Committee, and will be published in the November/December edition of The American Postal Worker."
Letter carriers overtake clerks
According to the August payroll report of the Postal Service, dated September 6, there were 228,016 city letter carriers on the rolls and 226,984 clerks, making city carriers the largest USPS craft.
USPS publishes August Financial Results
The USPS reported net income of $32 million in August. With one month left to report for the fiscal year, net income for the year stood at $2.8 billion, with revenue virtually flat compared to 2003, and expenses up by 2.1%.
Lockheed Martin Wins Big U.S. Postal Service Contract
Lockheed Martin has been chosen by the U.S. Postal Service to provide managed network services in a potential $6 billion deal. Under the program, the postal service will integrate all postal data communications networks including the wide area network (WAN) and local area networks (LAN) into a single network service.
Washington Business Journal