News & Tech: Coalition Pushes Congress on Postal Rates

June 7, 2021

Article by: News & Tech

Coalition Pushes Congress on Postal Rates

Reacting to the U.S. Postal Service’s announcement on May 28 of major postage increases for most mail, the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service (C21) — an organization of public and private companies, trade associations and others including the American Forest & Paper Association, National Newspaper Association, News Media Alliance, Kodak and Quad Graphics — has joined with Consumer Action in asking Congress to take action. Consumer Action is a consumer education and advocacy nonprofit.

In a letter sent to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security leadership, the groups urge members to amend the bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act (S. 1720, H.R. 3076) to include review of the postal rate-setting system, which was changed by the Postal Regulatory Commission in 2020 to give USPS the ability to set much more dramatic rate increases — yet has not been subject to public or Congressional scrutiny, says the coalition.

Without action from Congress, C21 and Consumer Action say that the newest rate increase of nearly 7 percent for most mail and nearly 9 percent for charities and other nonprofits, magazines, newspapers and catalogs will be compounded in future years.

International Falls Journal to Close

The International Falls Journal and North Star Publishing will cease its operations at the end of June, The Journal reports. The final edition of The Journal will be on June 24. “Like many businesses this past year, the impact of the pandemic on The Journal and North Star Publishing has been dramatic. These challenges, when combined with other difficult economic trends, have forced us to make this difficult decision,” said the paper.  MediaNews Group owns the paper.

Kansas City Star Newsroom Employees Unionize

Newsroom employees of The Kansas City Star have unionized, the paper reported. McClatchy owns the paper. McClatchy has voluntarily recognized the Kansas City News Guild.  “We have a long history of working collaboratively in this newsroom to support strong local journalism,” said The Star’s president and editor, Mike Fannin, said. “Our shared efforts have resulted in vital work that has made the communities we serve better and more accountable.

“We prize the work of all our colleagues, and today, we are recognizing the Kansas City News Guild. Together, we can move forward with the mission of elevating our staff, our strategies and our journalism.” The group will become a unit of The NewsGuild-CWA.

The NewsGuild-CWA represents more than 24,000 journalists and other communications professionals in the U.S. and Canada at publications and digital sites that include The Miami Herald, the Palm Beach Post, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and the Indianapolis Star. Formerly known as The Newspaper Guild, the union was founded by journalists in 1933. The Guild merged with the 600,000-member Communications Workers of America in 1995.

Digital Producers at Gannett Form Union

Digital producers on Gannett’s Atlantic Digital Optimization Team (DOT) have formed a union with the NewsGuild of New York. The employees work across a five-state region that includes 37 websites in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. “At Gannett, producers have witnessed restructuring, layoffs and furloughs within their newsrooms, and are continually challenged to meet mounting corporate demands to boost readership and revenue with fewer and fewer resources. Those who have survived these cuts have found it harder to do their jobs and the mounting pressure has hurt retention,” said a statement from the guild.   Gannett says it won’t voluntarily recognize the union, reports Poynter, so the Atlantic DOT employees will need to vote on the union through a National Labor Relations Board election.

More News

  • The FBI has withdrawn a subpoena demanding records from USA Today, the paper reports. The subpoena would have identified those who read a story on an incident that killed two agents.
  • Jade Media has been acquired by CherryRoad Technology/CherryRoad Media, according to Grimes, McGovern & Associates, who represented Jade Media in the sale. Jade Media is publisher of the Mountain Echo in Flippin and the Marshall Mountain Wave in Marshall (both Arkansas).

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