Mailers, Unions Devise Reform Plan

Washington–Several major mailer organizations, including the Direct Marketing Association, the Association for Postal Commerce, and the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, met here together on April 10 with representatives from the major postal unions to work out an agreeable legislative approach to address the U.S. Postal Service’s financial crisis. “It’s unprecedented,” says Neal Denton, executive director for the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, “for the postal unions and mailers to get in the same room and find commonalities.”

Although the group members agreed not to reveal specifics of the platform with which they intend to approach congressional leaders in order to revive a postal reform bill, Denton says that getting such an agreement from unions is “why reform hasn’t worked” since the first recent postal reform bill was introduced in 1996. “If we need postal reform,” he adds, “this is a logical first step.”

In addition to agreeing on a legislative platform, the sides agreed that the USPS should not launch another rate case before next year nor cut back on services—such as six-day mail delivery. Either would lead to lower mail volume and ultimately lower revenue for the Postal Service. In addition, the two sides plan to work together to secure a legislative change to increase the USPS’s borrowing authority to help it through its short-term cash needs.

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