Friday, January 27, 2023

Play

A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.

Play

Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

Play

"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Postal Workers Brace for Rush of Holiday Packages, Letters

Play

Friday, October 7, 2022   

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan and across the country.

For what is called the "peak season," the Postal Service plans to add 250 processing machines as well as an additional 1,000 truck drivers, letter carriers and processing team members.

Even with a bump in staffing, said Maceo Cosper, president of the American Postal Workers Union Local 300 in central Michigan, the Postal Service doesn't always add enough positions for the workload.

"We have chronic staffing issues in the Postal Service," he said. "It is not that we don't have the mechanism to hire temporary workers for peak season; we've always been able to do that. Unfortunately, it seems like mismanagement on a widespread scale."

The Postal Service has said thousands of temporary workers eventually convert to full-time status, with a regular salary, a 401(k) and health, retirement and life-insurance benefits.

The union is in the second year of a four-year contract. In negotiations, Cosper said, the union made demands for workplace safety and steps to alleviate high-stress working conditions. Despite that, he said, the high volume of peak-season work can be exhausting - and dangerous.

"Mandatory seven/twelves - people are being overworked," he said. "We're seeing a lot of repetitive-motion injuries. It's physical work, but it's also just being on your feet for 12 hours a day, seven days a week."

Postmaster Louis DeJoy has introduced a 10-year plan to put the Postal Service on a stronger financial footing. Part of it consolidates small-town post offices in a central location with a hub-and-spoke design, but Cosper is concerned it could eliminate jobs and slow delivery times.

Peter Rachleff, a labor historian and co-executive director of the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul, Minnesota, follows trends at the Postal Service and other major employers. In his view, DeJoy's expansion needs to be managed so that it benefits both the agency and its union workers.

"The Gen-X'ers who are organizing realize that there is no such thing as 'the pendulum,' which will swing back in their favor," he said. "The only way to make a better future for themselves is by organizing and pushing."

For more information, or to apply for Postal Service jobs, look online at usps.com/hiring.

Disclosure: American Postal Workers Union contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…


Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …


From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021