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Sun Mar 14 2021 10:25:45

USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers

By: Ina Steiner

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The US Postal Service warned employees they should not disclose commercial information to people outside the organization - including lawmakers. The substance and timing of the warning are eyebrow-raising, to say the least.

"The Postal Service is not required to disclose confidential commercial information, except in very limited circumstances," it wrote in a post on the Link newsletter for employees on Friday.

"Any employee might be asked to disclose commercial information to someone outside of the organization. Although requests for this kind of information are usually sent under the Freedom of Information Act, they can also come directly from other people, such as a lawmaker or a contractor."

The agency advised employees to "contact the USPS Law Department before disclosing information of a commercial nature."

Later that day, the Chair of the House Oversight Committee requested documents from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy related to the $6 billion USPS contract with Oshkosh Corporation to build next-gen delivery trucks.

press release from the Committee Chair Maloney reads in part:

"In addition, reports indicated that the night before the award announcement, an unknown party purchased Oshkosh Corp. shares worth $54 million," which "raise concerns about the Postal Service's selection process and contract award for the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle program."

The Oversight Committee is also seeking information over concerns that the contract appears in conflict with the current administration's commitment to transition the federal government to a fully electric fleet.

Warning postal employees to be guarded with confidential information is prudent, but the timing of the warning that specifically tells USPS workers to protect key terms of contracts from lawmakers, who may be tasked with overseeing the agency, is disquieting.

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Perminate Link for USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers   USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 14 14:59:49 2021

It is speculated that major shippers with USPS, like Amazon, are paying as little as 20% of retail for shipping labels. These contracts came at a time where USPS was seeing mail volume drop significantly due to email, the internet, and online billpay. Instead of becoming more streamlined and evolving with the times, USPS and their employees' union looked for any way to maintain mail volume. In walks Amazon and their billions of packages needing delivered.  Amazon took advantage of the situation, and got USPS to do things they have never done before, deliver on Sundays, make one company's packages more important than others paying substantially more for the same service.

Then USPS has the audacity to complain to Congress they are losing money. They then double down on losing money to keep volume up by contracting with Chinapost to deliver ePackets to the US with tracking for less than an American citizen can send a letter across the street with one stamp.

If it were to get out that the USPS was delivering a trillion dollar company's packages for less than cost, and charging the average America 5 times as much for services that have failed to live up to minimum standards the last year would see a revolt and calls to replace this bloated bureaucracy tomorrow.

Perminate Link for USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers   USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 14 16:26:53 2021

Anyone want to bet that Postmaster General DeJoy is the person who purchased the $54 million worth of Oshkosh stock the night before the announcement?  This is the same person who lied to Congress during his Confirmation hearing about owning stock in UPS and Fed-Ex which are the main competitors of USPS only to finally have it disclosed that he has between $35-$70 million invested in their stock..  Then right after he takes over he starts putting new policies into place which will slow down USPS deliveries and make them look worse than they already are.  It appears that all he is interested in is causing issues with USPS to slow down all mail as well as package deliveries so that more and more Sellers start using UPS and Fed-Ex for their shipments.  USPS still has not caught up with all of the piles of mail that did not get delivered on time during the holidays.

DeJoy still seems to be doing all he can to stop any and all interference with  his attempts to cause more damage to USPS and the entire mail delivery system. There has also been discussions of regular first class mail now taking up to 6 weeks to be delivered because DeJoy wants to stop using Airplanes for any portion of the delivery service for first class mail in is attempts to cut costs.  His actions actually remind me of how Ebay has been operating for the last few years.  Cut costs as much as possible no matter how poor the service given to their customers becomes.  Is this the new business school way of thinking and teaching the younger generation to run their companies this way going forward?  If so this country is in for one heck of a rude awakening as more and more of the large corporations are going to wind up in the same situation that Ebay is.

Perminate Link for USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers   USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers

by: Eagle This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 15 03:20:52 2021

@ Silver Ice King; No doubt DeJoy has his greedy hands in this somewhere. I'd also say the contract was rammed through with more than a single person making tons of $$$$$ on the side. I read about 2 weeks ago that the new contract for delivery trucks only included 20% all electric trucks and Biden admin was talking about changing the whole delivery fleet to total electric? I'm sure this story will be continued later. lol

Perminate Link for USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers   USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Mar 15 06:49:13 2021

The sooner that DeJoy is gone the better.  He has a lot of interests (and conflicts of interest), but I don't think USPS is one of his interests.  Interestingly he has an uncanny resemblance to the character Tony Soprano.

Perminate Link for USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers   USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers

by: treasurehunter777 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 15 13:06:49 2021

DeJoy is the definition of corruption at it'd finest! Since he has been postmaster general the USPS mail service has gone downhill. He must be held accountable and removed from office.

Perminate Link for USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers   USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 16 06:52:32 2021

DeJoy has sabotaged a Federal Operation in less than a year.
SABOTAGED!!
A FEDERAL SERVICE!!!

Why has he not been locked up?
He should be the one who has to pay back lost revenue. Yet he makes the taxpayers and the USPS pay for his own damage.  How many Billions has he cost the government?  
Again, what about those who wait for medication through delivery services?  
Now it is because of him that he caused physical harm to innocent people...ALSO DURING A PANDEMIC.  I guess medical supplies aren't that big of a concern to a Royal D-BAG such as him.

How in the hell can he do this when there is clear evidence that he has more INVESTED interest in competitors business?

Perminate Link for USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers   USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 16 11:57:12 2021

What does everyone expect. All the cash registers are open for looting. The cahier has their back to it, and the cops are on lunch.

This is the US now. And nobody that can make a difference cares who gets hurt by it.

Perminate Link for USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers   USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 16 20:58:04 2021

“ It is speculated that major shippers with USPS, like Amazon, are paying as little as 20% of retail for shipping labels.”

When (whomever) is through ‘speculating’ and spreading same lacking citation of source, here are some actual facts to consider:

Amazon’s contract, which used to be based on parcel count, has for over a year now been based on the number of pallets they deliver to delivery units. Which is why, regardless of increasing volume (unarguably unprecedented and likely enduring past Covid) it is now even more ‘inflated’ to Amazon’s benefit as they pack pallets with hugely oversized boxes beyond USPS size and weight restrictions. Thus, more pallets = more profit. And more broken backs driving LLV’s with an average manufacture date of 1987. The average carrier that delivered about 80-100 pieces on a Sunday in one trip, now delivers around 250 - 275 an average rate (unchanged) of about 30/hour. In multiple trips because those literal antiques can only hold so much volume. If they don’t break down, which about 10% do, daily. You do the math.

The ‘unions’ have no say in USPS business contracts or volume issues, beyond their ability to lobby Congress to do things like maintain 6-day door to door delivery, or of course, negotiate with management for fair pay and reasonable hour labor standards for working Sundays. Which of course is an increased cost, made even more difficult to bear while trying to adhere to a Republican initiated 2005 Congressional mandate to pre-fund their retirement fund (unaided by a nary a dime of taxpayer funds) well into the 22nd century, right now. Which (surprise) that same union wants to abolish - for the same reason that:

Ergo, poof goes any operating profit that indeed needs to be invested on infrastructure and standards upgrades instead. Which will make their job easier.

Want to help? Quit putting folks in office that will declare undying support for ‘stimuli’ to the media while somehow lacking the courage to actually vote for it - or any other effort to fix the mess that is YOUR Postal Service.

And speaking of Sunday deliveries, it’s not just Amazon. It’s UPS, Target, WallMart too. It’s based on class of postage (e.g. Parcel Select, Priority Express Add-on). Amazon is just the behemoth in the room. Wanna ‘speculate’ what getting ‘Bezosed’ means to your carrier these days?

1c letter volume has decreased, surely. Paying bills and sending notes is just as easy to do and cheaper as shopping in one’s PJ’s is now, to be sure. But 3rd class mail has increased 5-fold over the same period. So....how much of that does the typical person actually even bother reading before adding to landfill might one ‘speculate’? While you’re at it, wouldn’t you ‘imagine’ the unions would be just fine with reducing that mostly unwanted workload - if they had a say - and the loss of such income - such as it is - wouldn’t contribute to placing them in line with the 30 million other Americans now desperately surviving on ‘stimuli’?

As for Dejoy, the USPS didn’t hire him. The board of governors did. Guess who appointed them? And guess who wants to fix that more than you? (Hint: ‘speculation’ not required.) and again, guess who has a vote to fix that?

Meanwhile, the USPS hasn’t ‘contracted’ with China Post, or anybody else similarly ‘advantaged’ to cause profit loss just to maintain volume. They are compelled to accept rates established by the UPU. Look it up and you won’t need to speculate.

Nobody “rammed through” any contract for those desperately needed trucks either. It’s a bloated snail pace bureaucracy remember?Designing, prototyping, testing, RE-testing, negotiating - all that’s been going on for over 8 years now, with multitudes of potential suppliers, from Ford to Mercedes (you read right) and everything in between, ad nauseum. And you can bet that ‘lowest price’ was the heavyweight - if you’ve been paying attention. An electric fleet is in the future too. As soon as the nation’s infrastructure gets there. Which will happen as soon as politics stops its grandstanding.

Which will happen whenever ‘the people’ who complain about it’s impacts want it done and dead enough to vote that way. Unfortunately one can ONLY speculate when that may ever be.

Finally, insofar as the subject ‘announcement’ is concerned, it is being taken more as a reminder to safeguard PII (personally identifiable information) rather than any nefarious edict to opaque what should be - and to the extent required by law is - transparent.

A lot more transparent than say an entity like eBay for example is related to the ‘deals’ THEY make that significantly contribute to the volumes exacerbating all these issues (in the midst of an international resource and service robbing pandemic no less). Going by ground vice air isn’t a ‘choice’, lately it’s been the only way to ‘fly’.

Perminate Link for USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers   USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 16 21:51:34 2021

"This is the US now. And nobody that can make a difference cares who gets hurt by it."

As long as it is not them nor their families, then they take action and they do it fast.

Perminate Link for USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers   USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 16 22:05:00 2021

@ Snapped

Most of your post is right on target, except the Chinapost issue.  As of July 2020 the arrangement with the UPU was terminated via an agreement that was made by the US and agreed on my the UPU.  All the USPS has to do is implement pricing that is in line with what they charge us to ship to their country and at least match that if not charge a bit more for all of the business their sweetheart deal with the UPU has cost US small business over the years, heck even the last couple of years where the UPU held a special session to address this issue and then voted to keep everything the same for another 1 1/2 years.  Anybody want to dig into those representatives finances and see how much China paid them off for this revision?  Unless somebody can show me where USPS has changed things with China since DeJoy took over as the Postmaster General China is still paying the same postage rates as Ghana does as that is the level the UPU considers their economy to be at.  Nothing but a lot of payoffs to representatives from other countries who are not punished for it, or China is blackmailing their governments with the threat of destroying their economy somehow.  

Either way - it is time for the USPS to start Charging China as well as other nations whose mail is costing our postal system money to deliver their packages.

Perminate Link for USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers   USPS to Workers: Guard Contract Info from Lawmakers

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 17 06:18:40 2021

@ SIK

Fair point, sort of, and reasonably clarified. But even as you note there was a ‘re-negotiation’, it still required ratification by the UPU so isn’t that really just a nuance?

Regardless, there’s nothing inherently wrong with speculation unless such is treated as if fact - nothing nuanced about that. Consider what happened with eBay feedback for example.

As for (reasonably) questioning potential payola or being (fairly) concerned about any leveraged threats of economic chaos that might result in a ‘fairer’ international postage stamp, that really boils down to a need to consider how likely such economic impact would be.

For example, how willing would you be to pay three or more times the cost for the very device you are using to post here? It was the very ‘cheapness’ of such postage and not just item cost alone that fed western consumer fever for Made In PRC goods from the heady days of the 80s to the present day. However, instead of $3 for a trinket - or a microchip - plus a buck to ship it, you’d be paying $20 to ship it, ‘embedded’ or otherwise - or possibly not be willing to. But then you’d be (forced to) pay that same $23 for one made in the land of the free anyway. With less to choose from. Or do without. Speculate where that extrapolates.

Meanwhile, while waving aside impact, that’s what fueled the previous administration’s ‘supremely talented’ (if he says so himself; can’t wait until those facts emerge from their coffins) businessman’s actions to terminate the agreement in the first place. Without regard to reduction of choice unless your purse was fat enough. Remember the tarrifs? How’d that (ever in the past too) work out? America First is fine chant - if you can or are willing to afford it. Haven’t seen many ‘facts’ over the last couple decades to support that we the people are though, post rally fever.

Which is really where it all needs to start. Form follows function. Or rather it should, to reduce the risk of collapse from any ‘improved’ design undertaken just because (indeed no argument there) it is needed.

And not to shave the point too sharp, it’s also why the subject truck contract was awarded so. Not just cost or ‘confidential’ terms but because the design was the better functional choice, at least if one considers the opinions of those who actually will be using it are important, and who were intimately involved in the evaluations.



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