In the wake of the July 27 ruling rejecting the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers’ lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service, Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president, government affairs of the Direct Marketing Association, says there will be little chance of overturning future rate hikes. “It’s going to take a grievous error to challenge postal rate cases in court,” he said at the DMA’s Nonprofit Conference, held Aug. 10 in New York. In its lawsuit, the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers tried to have the January 1999 USPS rate hike overturned, complaining that it was unfair, unnecessary, and illegal. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the rates reflected “relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate” to support the increase. Meanwhile, Cerasale believes the USPS will not back away from filing a new rate case come November, despite the agency’s $1 million-plus third-quarter surplus. (The actual rate increase will likely take place in early 2001.) Cerasale also noted that the agency has yet to settle a labor contract with the National Association of Letter Carriers, the second-largest postal union, which could raise postal costs.

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