Union members protesting postal service cuts USPS

Union members protesting postal service cuts
Posted: Dec 23, 2017 6:45 PM EST Updated: Dec 23, 2017 7:11 PM EST written by Jacklyn ChappellConnect
DERBY, Kan. (KAKE) – Inside your local post office are packages and cards to loved ones, waiting to make it to their destinations before the holidays.

But on the outside of the Derby USPS, members of the American Postal Workers Union were protesting for their services.

“Our jobs are constantly being cut while people stand in line out the door and around the block in some cities at post offices. We don’t need our jobs cut. We need to keep up the level of service that we’ve had,” USPS worker, Karen Brunson said.

A common concern was customer service.

“We want to do better. We want your mail to get here faster. We don’t want you to have to stand in line. We don’t want mistakes to happen but they keep cutting personnel,” Brunson said.

Patricia Hardin has worked for the USPS for over twenty years and says customers will sometimes wait on the phone for hours to speak with a representative.

“We need more employees. That’s just the facts. They have been chopping us up for so long and now they’re wanting to prioritize the United States Postal Services,” Hardin said.

Some stopped to listen to their message and were surprised to learn USPS is funded through postage expenses.

“I did not know that. I thought they were government funded,” USPS customer, Jessica Bandy said.

Hardin hopes the postal service will change with the times and support their employees.

“We’re not the same as we were. We need to get back into customer service, instead of customer disservice. And build us back up to where we used to be, Hardin said.

We reached out to a representative with the postal service but so far have not heard back.

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Howard Dean: Trump is running a ‘criminal enterprise out of the White House’

By Rebecca Savransky – 12/27/17 08:16 AM EST 1,258

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said President Trump is “running a criminal enterprise” out of the White House.

During a segment an MSNBC host said Trump is “constantly vacationing to promote his own properties.”

“The promotion is extraordinary. There hasn’t been a president in my lifetime that’s done anything like this,” Dean said in response.

“In the beginning, the constitutional business about the emoluments clause, which is you’re not supposed to take foreign money to influence your policy, it didn’t bother me, I thought it was a far-flung argument — I’m not an attorney.”

But Dean said it is clear that Trump or his staff are “shaking down foreign governments who have moved their events to his hotel in Washington at somebody’s request in order to get favors.”

“I think he’s running a criminal enterprise out of the White House and I think that’s what Bob Mueller’s on the track of,” Dean said.

The emoluments clause prohibits federal officials from taking payments from foreign governments. Earlier this month, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit from a liberal watchdog organization arguing Trump had violated the clause.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a lawsuit earlier this year claiming that because Trump has not fully divested from his businesses, he is receiving “cash and favors from foreign governments, through guests and events at his hotels, leases in his buildings, and valuable real estate deals abroad.”

Trump’s frequent visits to his own properties have also been viewed harshly by critics and ethics experts, who say it gives his organization free publicity, although the president himself no longer manages the company.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is currently investigating the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion between his campaign and Russia and has called the probe a “witch hunt.”

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In Less Than A Year, Trump Has Stripped Back Workers’ Ability To Unionize

His revamped labor board issued a slew of new policies at the end of 2017 that will make collective bargaining harder.
By Dave Jamieson
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
Donald Trump claimed during the campaign that he would be good for union workers.
Candidate Donald Trump pitched himself as the right choice for union workers. He bragged that he’d had good relations with labor unions during his real estate career. He argued that he deserved the AFL-CIO labor federation’s electoral endorsement, which ultimately went to his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
But in less than a year as president, Trump has wiped away several of the modest policy gains that organized labor made during the Obama years. The nominees he’s chosen to fill crucial regulatory roles are already making it more difficult for some workers to join unions and bargain collectively.
These policy reversals have drawn enthusiastic cheers from business lobbies and made a joke of one of Trump’s campaign boasts: “I have great relationships with unions.” Meanwhile, union ranks are hovering near historic lows.
In the last weeks of 2017, the National Labor Relations Board issued a slew of decisions that rolled back worker- and union-friendly reforms from the preceding eight years. The NLRB is the independent federal agency responsible for interpreting collective bargaining law and refereeing disputes between employers, unions and workers.
The new rulings were made possible by Trump’s two nominees to the five-member NLRB ― William Emanuel and Marvin Kaplan ― which flipped the board’s majority from liberal to conservative. The board managed to get several contentious decisions out the door before Dec. 16, when the term of the third Republican member, Philip Miscimarra, expired, deadlocking the board at 2-2.
In one of the most consequential changes, the NLRB reversed a 2011 ruling that helped workers form smaller unions within a single larger workplace. The precedent set during the Obama years allowed, say, nursing home assistants to hold a union election without including all the facility’s dietary aides, maintenance workers and other employees who don’t share similar job duties, wages and gripes with management.
Employers hated that standard, complaining that it led to “micro unions.” By overturning it, the Trump-shaped board made organizing workers at a large facility a far more daunting task. Consider the case they ruled on: After 100 welders unionized at a manufacturing plant, the NLRB found the smaller organizing unit  to be illegitimate and said any union election would have to include all 2,500 different types of workers at the company, spanning 120 job classifications.
The board ruled 3-2 along partisan lines in the case. The two dissenting Democratic members said it was “unconscionable” for the Republican majority to make such a sweeping change without at least soliciting briefs from unions and employers. “It is a dereliction of the duty we owe to the parties and the labor-management community,” they wrote.
It goes against everything President Trump promised working people during the campaign. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
The Republican majority took an ax to another major precedent set during the Obama years known as the “joint employer” standard.
Back in 2015, the NLRB ruled that companies can’t dodge their responsibilities to their workers just by outsourcing management duties to subcontractors or franchisees. The ruling made it easier for workers to file labor complaints against big companies like McDonald’s, which claim they aren’t the employers of the masses of people who labor at their franchise restaurants. The ruling also opened the door for fast food workers to potentially unionize in large groups, rather than store by store.
But the new board flipped that decision, reverting the joint employer test to a standard more favorable to fast-food chains and other big companies that contract out work. McDonald’s is likely to benefit almost immediately in a current case over its responsibilities as a potential joint employer.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the top Democrat on the Senate committee overseeing the NLRB, said in a statement that the change in the joint employer standard would make it harder for workers to bargain for higher wages. “And it goes against everything President Trump promised working people during the campaign,” she added.
In addition to the two board members, Trump has also chosen a new NLRB general counsel, who functions as a kind of prosecutor and brings cases before the board. While President Barack Obama’s nominees aggressively pursued employers for unfair labor practices, Trump’s pick, Peter Robb, has already signaled that he intends to unwind much of what his predecessors did.
In a December memo first reported by HuffPost, Robb told the agency’s regional directors that any expansion of workers’ rights under Obama was effectively on hold for now. He also rescinded several guidance memos that were issued under the previous more-liberal board and that employers argued were too favorable to unions and workers. Robb had represented employers and business groups in labor and employment disputes as a private attorney before Trump plucked him for the general counsel’s position.
For now, the deadlocked NLRB won’t be able to rule on contentious cases, making it unlikely that other Obama-era policies will be undone in the near future. But Trump will have the chance to nominate a fifth member to the board in 2018. The GOP Congress will need only a simple majority to confirm the nominee and give the board a 3-2 Republican majority once again.

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