Editorial: So, Mailers Are Vermin? Those Are Fighting Words

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I interrupt my weekly commentary on the national no-call registry to discuss another pet peeve: postal unions, specifically the American Postal Workers Union. APWU president William Burrus called large mailers "vermin that, given the opportunity, would suck the lifeblood out of every [postal workers'] right and benefit that has been achieved." This was in an opinion piece in last month's American Postal Worker magazine. Exactly which definition does he mean? Are mailers disease-carrying insects or vile, loathsome people? The ones I know are neither.


Burrus also said the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service fulfilled mailers' wildest dreams with its recommendations. I'm sorry, Mr. Burrus, but did you hear deputy postmaster general John Nolan warn mailers at the National Postal Forum about a double-digit rate increase in two years? Over the years, mailers have more than paid their fair share, as this Postcom chart illustrates. Mailers want to preserve service just as much as you do, but they don't want to be gouged out of existence.


First Class Letters: 2-17-85, 8%; 4-3-88, 15%; 2-3-91, 15%; 1-1-95, 9%; 1-10-99, 2%; 1-1-01, 1.8%; 7-1-01, 1.5%; 6-30-02, 7.7%


First Class Cards: 2-17-85, 6%; 4-3-88, 8%; 2-3-91, 25%; 1-1-95, 6%; 1-10-99, 0%; 1-1-01, 0.4%; 7-1-01, 5.1%; 6-30-02, 9.7%


Priority Mail: 2-17-85, 0%; 4-3-88, 0%; 2-3-91, 19%; 1-1-95, 5%; 1-10-99, 6%; 1-1-01, 16.2%; 7-1-01, 0.9%; 6-30-02, 13.5%


Express Mail: 2-17-85, 15%; 4-3-88, 2%; 2-3-91, 15%; 1-1-95, 8%; 1-10-99, 8%; 1-1-01, 3.6%; 7-1-01, 1.5%; 6-30-02, 9.4%


Periodicals (In County): 2-17-85, 42%; 4-3-88, 12%; 2-3-91, 21%; 1-1-95, 2%; 1-10-99, 1%; 1-1-01, 6.8%; 7-1-01, 1.6%; 6-30-02, 1.7%


Periodicals (Outside County): 2-17-85, NA; 4-3-88, NA; 2-3-91, NA; 1-1-95, NA; 1-10-99, NA; 1-1-01, 9.9%; 7-1-01, 2.6%; 6-30-02, 10.3%


Standard (Single Piece): 2-17-85, 3%; 4-3-88, 12%; 2-3-91, 19%; 1-1-95, 44%; 1-10-99, NA; 1-1-01, NA; 7-1-01, NA; 6-30-02, NA


Standard (Bulk Regular) 2-17-85, 14%; 4-3-88, 25%; 2-3-91, 25%; 1-1-95, 14%; 1-10-99, 4%; 1-1-01, 8.8%; 7-1-01, 1.4%; 6-30-02, 7.5%


Standard (Bulk Nonprofit): 2-17-85, 13%; 4-3-88, 7%; 2-3-91, 25%; 1-1-95, 4%; 1-10-99, 9%; 1-1-01, 4.8%; 7-1-01, 2.5%; 6-30-02, 7.5%


Package Services (Parcel Post) 2-17-85, 11%; 4-3-88, 15%; 2-3-91, 18%; 1-1-95, 18%; 1-10-99, 12%; 1-1-01, 2.7%; 7-1-01, 1.6%; 6-30-02, 10%


Package Services (BPM): 2-17-85, 13%; 4-3-88, 18%; 2-3-91, 14%; 1-1-95, 14%; 1-10-99, 5%; 1-1-01, 17.4%; 7-1-01, 0.8%; 6-30-02, 9%


Package Services (Media Mail): 2-17-85, 8%; 4-3-88, 35%; 2-3-91, 18%; 1-1-95, 18%; 1-10-99, -10%; 1-1-01, 6.3%; 7-1-01, 1.8%; 6-30-02, 4%


Package Services (Library Rate): 2-17-85, 21%; 4-3-88, 20%; 2-3-91, 2%; 1-1-95, 70%; 1-10-99, 4%; 1-1-01, 4.9%; 7-1-01, 1.7%; 6-30-02, 3%


For a more eye-pleasing chart, go to:


http://www.postcom.org/public/publicaffairs/increase-percent.pdf


Sun in His Eyes


This month marks the end of the Ken Magill Era at DM News. Yes, Ken has left us to cover advertising for the New York Sun. For seven years, Ken wrote about the dot-com world's successes and mishaps, ranted about spam and (his favorite topic) kept the DMA on its toes. I thank you, Ken, for your hard work and your friendship. Replacing him will be a monumental job, but we think we've found the right person: Brian Morrissey, who's had the same beat at Internet-News.com. Reach Brian at bmorrissey@dmnews.com.


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