Contact: Jessica McCreight(202) 464-6959; [email protected]
Affordable Mail Alliance Forms to Fight Major Postal Service Rate Hikes Announced Today
New coalition of mail customers call on Postal Regulatory Commission
to reject rate increases
Washington, DC – The Affordable Mail Alliance, an unprecedented
coalition of Postal customers, is today calling on the Postal
Regulatory Commission to reject the United States Postal Service’s new
proposal to increase postal rates by ten times the rate
permissible by law. The new coalition includes charities, large and
small businesses, American household names and the customers who use
the Post Office every day – customers that will suffer if USPS
successfully raises rates again.
"This proposed rate increase amounts to another tax imposed on
Americans at a time when the economy can least afford it,” said Tony
Conway, Executive Director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers and
Spokesperson for the Affordable Mail Alliance. “Consumers everywhere
will pay more for the letters and packages they need to send;
struggling businesses – large and small - will suffer and even more
jobs will be lost."
The Postal Service claims that a rate increase is essential to
maintaining its solvency. However, USPS has done little to improve its
business model. For example, the average USPS employee is paid
substantially more than comparable private sector jobs. In 2009, USPS
volume went down 13%, but labor costs only went down 1%. Because of
work force issues, many USPS employees are under-used or sit idly,
forcing consumers to subsidize them.
This rate increase will decrease mail volume, making the USPS' economic situation even worse through declining number of customers. And that, in turn, will be multiplied into job losses to publishers, printers, paper manufacturers, marketers – jobs that can hardly afford to be lost in this economy.
While the USPS retained consulting companies to create a plan to
tackle the crisis, little has been done to implement the cost saving
recommendations. For example, facility consolidation is moving at a
"The first rule of business is if you’re in the hole, stop digging,”
said Conway. “Increasing rates won’t put the Postal Service back on
track – it will just drive more customers away, making their situation
even worse. USPS needs to stop avoiding the difficult decisions and
stop taking out their problems on the customers they desperately
"Rather than gouging its customers with ten times the rate permissible by law, USPS should be eliminating its costs; inflation in postal costs was over 6% in 2009," said Jerry Cerasale, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Spokesperson for the Affordable Mail Alliance. "They should be making the hard business decisions and not raising rates."
The Postal Service is asking the five-person Postal Regulatory
Commission to waive a rule requiring that postal rate increases stay
in line with inflation – a law designed to protect Americans from just
this kind of rate hike. The Affordable Mail Alliance is calling on
Postal Regulatory Commissioners not to exploit a legal loophole to let
the USPS make egregious rate hikes.
For more information on the Affordable Mail Alliance, contact Jessica McCreight (202) 464-6959;
Call the Postal Regulatory Commission: tell them to reject unfair rate hikes:202 789 6800