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December 21, 2014

Panic in the Mailroom
Minions - Panic at Mailroom from Sydney Fernandes on Vimeo.

December 18, 2014

Another post office gets annexed: North Platte to relocate from downtown to industrial tract
The Postal Service is continuing to close downtown post offices and move retail services to inconveniently located postal facilities on the outskirts of town.  While it may be efficient for carrier annexes and mail processing plants to be located where there's...

December 14, 2014

The Post Office in Black and White, 1935-1944
Taking pictures of post offices is a passion of many photographers, and for good reason.  Our country has are over 32,000 post offices, and they come in all shapes and sizes and vintages.  Many of them may seem rather modest and nondescript at first glance,...

December 6, 2014

Prez throws PRC Chair under the bus, WaPo misses the bus completely
Josh Hicks has a piece in yesterday’s Washington Post about the announcement that Ruth Goldway has stepped down as Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission, to be replaced by Commissioner Robert Taub as Acting Chairman.  It's entitled “Jet-...

December 4, 2014

Buyer opts out of purchase of historic Berkeley Post Office
The US Attorneys' office has notified the City of Berkeley that the prospective buyer of the Berkeley main post office has exercised an option to cancel the sale, which was set to close on December 22. News that the development firm of Hudson McDonald was the buyer of...

December 2, 2014

POStPlan Implementation: Just 1,600 post offices to go, but far from done
The Postal Service has implemented POStPlan at about 11,400 post offices so far.  That leaves approximately 1,630 offices where the window hours have yet to be reduced and the original postmaster is probably still on the job.  You can see a list of these...

November 28, 2014

How's the exigent rate increase doing?
Earlier this week, the Postal Service released its preliminary financial report for fiscal year 2014.  Now may be a good time to evaluate the impacts of the exigent rate increase that went into effect on January 26, 2014. Back in September 2013, when the Postal...

November 25, 2014

National Trust joins Berkeley in suit against Postal Service
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has joined the City of Berkeley in a lawsuit against the Postal Service over the sale of the Berkeley Main Post Office.  The suit complains that the Postal Service has failed to comply with federal historic preservation...

November 23, 2014

Why Congress should not get out of the way of the Postal Service
BY MARK JAMISON News that Ron Johnson, the Tea Party favorite from Wisconsin, will be taking over as chair of the Senate committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs has caused an overwhelming sense of panic among progressives and postal workers.  Johnson...

November 15, 2014

Slideshow: Postal workers protest plant closures

November 15, 2014

Did the Postal Service forget it owns the historic Lindsborg post office?
The Postal Service has closed the post office in Lindsborg, Kansas, because of concerns about the air quality.  Apparently some black mold was discovered in the basement.  That’s not too surprising considering that it’s an old building that dates back...

November 12, 2014

WaPo op-ed hacked by dysfunctional status quo
It's business as usual at the Washington Post.  Just as it has done many times over the past few years, the Post's editorial staff is calling for more cuts to postal services and more downsizing of the infrastructure, all in the name of "reform."...

Nov. 10, 2014

Village Post Offices, part 2: More debut, more questions too
In a previous post, "It takes a Village Post Office, but for what?" we questioned the financial rationale for VPOs and asked why many of them were now being placed in densely populated areas.  Now there’s more reason to pose such questions. A couple of...

November 2, 2014

It takes a Village Post Office, but for what?
Almost every day over the past year, there’s been a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of a new Village Post Office.  There are hundreds of stories in local newspapers about these grand openings.  The Postal Service clearly thinks that Village...

October 29, 2014

Postal Service begins expanding into 1500 Staples
The Postal Service announced back in July that it was ending its pilot program to put mini-post offices in Staples stores.  The 82 postal counters it had set up last October would be transitioned to the Approved Shipper program, which has been around for years...

October 24, 2014

Canada converts 100,000 customers to cluster boxes, only 4.9 million to go
Canada is getting cluster boxes, and lots of them.  This week Canada Post rolled out it plan to replace home delivery at the door to centralized delivery at a cluster box down the block.  Nearly 100,000 residences, plus over 3,300 businesses, have been...

October 20, 2014

Sold American: An inventory of USPS disposed properties, 2009-2014
The Postal Service has sold over 500 properties over the past five years, but it hasn’t released much information about the disposals.  A few weeks ago, however, the Postal Service finally updated its Owned Facilities report, so it’s now possible to learn...

October 15, 2014

Next in postal privatization: Goin Postal counters in 2,000 Walmarts
The Goin Postal pack-and-ship company has signed a deal to put small postal stores inside of 2,000 Walmarts.  While the Postmaster General will probably say it's all about customer convenience, the deal represents yet another step in the privatization of the...

September 9, 2014

Trouble in the air: USPS may sell rights over Old Chelsea post office
Late last year, the Postal Service announced that it would not proceed with its controversial plan to sell the Old Chelsea post office at 217 West 18th Street in Manhattan.  Now the Postal Service has decided it wants to sell the air rights above the historic building...

September 6, 2014

New OIG report faults USPS on post office relocations
The USPS Office of Inspector General has released a long-awaited audit report on the post office relocation process.  The report faults the Postal Service on a number of counts — lack of transparency, not following postal regulations, the conflicting roles of...

September 4, 2014

CBRE arranges sale of Bronx GPO to one of its clients
The New York Daily News is reporting that the Postal Service has sold the Bronx General Post Office to Youngwoo & Associates.  Back in February, The Real Deal had reported that Youngwoo was proposing to use the site to build a marketplace in the vein of the...

August 29, 2014

Bronx GPO sold, no details yet
The Bronx General Post Office has been sold.  There’s no word yet on who the buyer is or what the plans for the building are, but the post office was definitely sold two weeks ago.  On the USPS-CBRE website, the listing says simply, "Sold." The...

August 19, 2014

Postal Service releases schedule of plant consolidations set for 2015
The Postal Service has released a schedule showing when the phase-two mail processing plants will be consolidated next year. The spreadsheet shows the date on which each type of mail will be relocated from a closing facility to a gaining facility.  As the schedule...

May 22, 2014

POStPlan postponed: 3,200 postmasters get a reprieve
The Postal Service has announced that the timeline for implementing POStPlan is going to be extended.  Initially, all 13,000 post offices included in the plan were to have their hours reduced by the end of September 2014, and any full-time postmasters still working at...

May 8, 2014

We don’t care, we don’t have to, we’re the Postal Service
MARK JAMISON It looks like the folks in L’Enfant Plaza will be the last to acknowledge what everyone else in the country already knows — customer service at the Postal Service is going way down hill, and fast.  The plant consolidations have resulted...

April 30, 2014

Postal watchdog files complaint against USPS for reducing hours at post offices
Postal watchdog Douglas Carlson has filed a formal complaint with the Postal Regulatory Commission concerning the Postal Service’s decision to reduce window hours at post offices.  According to the complaint, the Postal Service has changed its policies without...

April 20, 2014

Giving away the store: The Postal Service discounts the mail
MARK JAMISON In her book Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, Susan Crawford describes how the American public has been imprisoned by monopoly arrangements in the delivery of broadband and wireless Internet services. Using...

April 13, 2014

ACHP to report on disposal of historic post offices this week; the sales go on
On Thursday of this week, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation is expected to release a report on the Postal Service’s compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act when it disposes of historic post offices.  The Council was directed to prepare...

April 6, 2013

Why do so many cars crash into post offices?

March 29, 2014

PRC tells USPS Load Leveling not ready for prime time
Earlier this week the Postal Regulatory Commission issued its advisory opinion on Load Leveling, the plan to slow down delivery of some Standard mail to help redistribute the large volume on Monday.  The Commission has essentially told the Postal Service that its plan...

March 24, 2014

Postal Service releases its February financial statement: First impressions of the rate increase?
One short month isn’t a significant amount of time to measure the impact of the rate increase that went into effect at the end of January, but the Postal Service's financial report for February came out today, and the numbers may provide an initial...

March 23, 2014

POStPlan implementation: 9,000 post offices downgraded, 4,000 to go, RIF's coming
The Postal Service is continuing to implement POStPlan, its initiative to reduce hours at 13,000 post offices and replace their postmasters with part-time workers.  At this point, POStPlan has been implemented, or will be implemented soon, at almost 9,000 post offices...

March 17, 2014

The masquerade continues: Playing politics with the Postal Service's unfunded liabilities
MARK JAMISON The House subcommittee on Federal Workforce, US Postal Service, & the Census held a hearing on Thursday, March 13, to receive testimony on the Postal Service’s $100 billion “unfunded liability.”  Initially the hearing was billed...

March 10, 2014

Bailout Baloney: Issa holds a hearing on the "Postal Service's $100 billion in unfunded liabilities"
On March 13, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, chaired by Congressman Darrell Issa, will hold a hearing called “the Postal Service’s $100 Billion in Unfunded Liabilities.”  Don’t be shocked if you hear the phrase “taxpayer...

March 7, 2014

Sale of the Bronx General Post Office moves forward: Final offers due March 12
Next Wednesday is the deadline for submitting bids to purchase the historic Bronx General Post Office.  The Postal Service is apparently proceeding with its plan to sell the building even though Congress has recommended a moratorium on the disposal of historic post...

March 5, 2014

Postal Service publishes Final Rule on service changes for Standard Mail
Today the Postal Service published the Final Rule on the Load Leveling plan in the Federal Register.  As the Rule states, "The Postal Service is revising the service standards for Standard Mail that is eligible for Destination Sectional Center Facility (DSCF)...

March 2, 2014

Under same management: Some reservations about postal banking
MARK JAMISON A recent report by the USPS Office of Inspector General on offering financial services at the post office won immediate support from Senator Elizabeth Warren, and postal banking was thrust into the limelight.  A big front-page story in Huffington Post...

February 23, 2014

Postal Service’s Load Leveling plan hits a load of opposition
Earlier this week, there were reports that letter carriers in Washington, D.C. were told by management to end their routes before completing their deliveries in order to keep down overtime costs.  Apparently this caused massive pileups of undelivered mail and delivery...

February 17, 2014

USPS Environmental Assessment on historic Stamford post office runs into problems
There have been several new developments in the story of the historic Stamford post office.  Last week, the Postal Service filed a status report with the PRC about its search for a new location, and earlier this month, the USPS filed papers in federal court opposing...

February 14, 2014

Preservationists oppose change to USPS NEPA regulations on property disposal
A coalition of historic preservationists and citizen groups has filed comments opposing a change in the Postal Service's NEPA regulations that would make it easier to dispose of historic post offices.  The coalition includes the National Trust for Historic...

February 13, 2014

Premature motion: PRC dismisses bid to view non-public Amazon docs
MARK JAMISON Almost three months ago, I filed a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission seeking access to documents filed under seal in the docket that dealt with the Postal Service’s deal with Amazon to deliver its parcels on Sundays.  Last week, the PRC...

February 9, 2014

The Senate puts the PRC in the backseat — or maybe not even in the car
BY MARK JAMISON On Thursday of this past week, the Senate held the second of two markup sessions on the postal reform bill, a.k.a. the manager’s or substitute amendment, submitted by Senators Carper and Coburn.  At the first session held the previous week, on...

February 3, 2014

Can it get much worse? The Senate tries postal reform, again
BY MARK JAMISON The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs finally took up its postal reform bill at a markup session on Wednesday, January 29.  The new S.1486 the committee took up is significantly different from the Carper-Coburn bill released...

February 2, 2014

Postal Service releases post office closure and suspension lists for 2013
The Postal Service has released the official lists of post office closings and suspensions in FY 2013.  The lists come in response to a Chairman’s Information Request made as part of the Annual Compliance Determination Review (ACDR) conducted by the Postal...

January 31, 2014

Postal Service ignores moratorium on post office closings, shuts down Glenoaks Station
On September 19, 2013, in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Postmaster General Donahoe made a pledge not to close post offices or processing plants while Congress debated postal reform.  That promise seemed dubious at the time...

January 27, 2014

The disappearing postal workforce: Counting up the losses
BY MARK JAMISON On the first Friday of each month, economists, policymakers, and professionals in the finance industry wait for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to release the current jobs report.  The BLS report, which quantifies unemployment in the U.S., is widely...

January 25, 2014

Environmental report on disposal of historic Stamford post office raises questions
The Environmental Assessment (EA) on the disposal of the historic Atlantic Street Station post office in Stamford, Connecticut, was released a couple of days ago.  For a dry, technical document about air quality, construction noise, and traffic issues, it’s a...

January 24, 2014

The Privatization Ruse
BY MARK JAMISON Accusations that the PMG’s ultimate goal is to privatize the Postal Service are apparently starting to make some of the folks at L’Enfant Plaza a little touchy. On January 17, the Washington Post ran a story about the new postal counters in...

January 23, 2014

Try, try again: Postal Service and mailers to appeal PRC ruling on exigent rate increase
According to a short article in yesterday's Federal Times, the Postal Service will file an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals today challenging the decision of the Postal Regulatory Commission regarding the exigent rate increase.  The article also says that...

January 19, 2014

How slowing down Standard Mail paves the way for ending Saturday delivery
The Postal Regulatory Commission is currently reviewing a request from the Postal Service to change delivery service standards for a large portion of Standard mail.  The plan is to “load level” the heavy volume of mail that is normally delivered on Monday...

January 17, 2014

Thinking inside the PO Box
BY MARK JAMISON On January 26, postage rates are going up — about 6 percent across the board, which means a First Class stamp will go from 46 to 49 cents.  But there's another rate increase going into effect on that day, and it hasn't gotten much...

January 16, 2014

Alternatives to the Post Office: Expanded Access in FY 2013
The APWU is currently sending delegations to Staples stores in their communities to meet with store managers to protest the postal counters that have been installed at 82 stores, with plans for more.  After the visits, the APWU plans to organize a day of action at...

January 13, 2014

Postal Service proposes changing environmental regulations on post office disposals
The Postal Service has proposed a revision of federal regulations that would help it avoid going through an extensive environmental review process when disposing of postal properties like post offices.  The Postal Service wants to make things easier because it has...

January 12, 2014

Sale of historic Bronx Post Office moves forward; bids due Jan. 15
The Postal Service is moving forward on the sale of the historic Bronx General Post Office at 558 Grand Concourse in New York City.  The property is listed on the USPS-CBRE Properties for Sale website, where a new Call-for-Offers announcement says interested parties...

January 11, 2014

Delivery after dark: Postal Service presents data showing big increase in carriers out after 5:00
Yesterday the Postal Service published data showing what letter carriers have been complaining about for a long time: More and more of them are out on the street after dark.  Since 2005, the percentage of carriers out after 5:00 p.m. has gone from less than 20 percent...

January 9, 2014

Staplizing the Post Office: A dozen reasons to just say no
Back in November, the Postal Service quietly announced that it was setting up postal counters in a couple of Staples stores in San Jose and South San Francisco.  The website Going Postal broke the Staples story a few days later with its report...

January 7, 2014

The corporatization of the Postal Service: Post office closures, suspensions, relocations, and reductions in 2013
One of the most persistent refrains in the debate about the Postal Service is that it needs to act more like a business.  That means different things to different people, but for many, the model for where the Postal Service needs to go is to be found in Europe.  ...

January 5, 2013

Regarding the sale and preservation of historic post offices and their art: An open letter to the Inspector General
Last summer, the USPS Office of Inspector General announced that it was doing an audit investigation on the preservation and disposal of historic post offices.  The audit was due out in October, but the release has been postponed until later this year.  The audit...

January 1, 2014

A New Year’s Resolution: Support the People’s Post Office
BY MARK JAMISON Here’s a resolution for the New Year: Support the people’s post office.   That means working to preserve an essential national infrastructure and rejecting initiatives to dismantle it, like closing post offices and cutting window hours,...

December 29, 2013

The plot thickens: An OIG solicitation, the Palmer Square Post Office, and the CBRE-LCOR connection
There were a couple of interesting developments this week in the story about how the Postal Service and its real estate broker CBRE are handling post office lease deals and the sales of postal properties.  On Christmas Day, the USPS Office of Inspector General ...

December 27, 2013

Standard Mail slows down: The Postal Service requests an advisory opinion on load leveling DSCF mail
The delivery of a large portion of Standard Mail is about to slow down.  Today the Postal Service submitted a request for an advisory opinion to the Postal Regulatory Commission concerning a change in service standards for DSCF Standard Mail. DSCF discounted mail...

December 24, 2013

PRC grants rate increase but for less than two years
The Postal Regulatory Commission has approved the Postal Service’s request for an exigent rate increase of 4.3 percent, but only for about 18 months to two years, however long it takes to recoup $2.8 billion in lost profits.  In the short term, the increase will...

December 22, 2013

The PRC decides the rate case: What's in Santa's bag for the mailers?
On Monday or Tuesday of this week, the Postal Regulatory Commission will issue an order on the Postal Service’s renewed request for an exigent rate increase.  If it’s granted in full, postal rates will go up about 4.3 percent.  That’s on top of...

December 18, 2013

Relocation, relocation, relocation: The new M.O. for closing post offices
The Postal Service may no longer be talking about closing thousands of post offices, but it has been busy “relocating” them.  In dozens of cities across the country, a downtown post office is being closed and the building, often a historic landmark, is...

December 15, 2013

Canada gets cluster-boxed: Why it can’t happen here
Canada Post announced this week that over the next five years it would be converting five million urban residences from door delivery to cluster box units (CBUs), also known euphemistically as Community Mailboxes (CMBs).  Along with other cost-cutting initiatives,...

December 12, 2013

The Postal Service tries to pull a fast one in Harlem
BY CHUCK ZLATKIN The federal regulations on relocating post offices don't put a lot of demands on the Postal Service — a public hearing, a short comment period, a week's notice before the meeting, and not much more.  In many cases, the Postal Service...

December 9, 2011

Harlem's College Station post office may be sold and "relocated"
The Postal Service has announced plans to close and sell another historic post office.  The College Station post office on 140th Street in in Harlem was built under the New Deal, and it’s been serving the neighborhood since 1937.  It looks like 2014...

December 6, 2013

Looking forward: Ten reasons to think twice about Metro Post
In Edward Bellamy’s utopian novel Looking Backward, written in 1887, a young man falls asleep and wakes up in the year 2000.  It’s a romance as well as a sci-fi story, so the time-traveling hero soon meets a young lady who helps introduce him to the...

December 3, 2013

Why I did it and what’s at stake: Shining the light on NSAs
BY MARK JAMISON A couple of weeks ago I filed a motion with the Postal Regulatory Commission requesting access to the documents related to the Negotiated Service Agreement (NSA) on the program to deliver Amazon parcels on Sundays.  As I write this, the PRC has not yet...

December 1, 2013

It's Sunday and the Postman Cometh: Mysteries of the Amazon deal, continued
The arrangement between the Postal Service and Amazon to deliver packages to members of Amazon Prime on Sundays continues to make news, but details about the deal remain scant.  In a post a few days ago, we speculated about how much the Postal Service might be making...

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On Privatization

Good Reading on Postal Privatization

Also: Sarah Ryan's "Understanding Postal Privatization: Corporations, Unions, and the "Public Interest"

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Organizing to Save Rural Post Offices


A Community Organizing Toolkit

Revised November 2012

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