In its campaign to keep postage affordable despite continuing declines in mail volume, the Mailers Council on Sept. 8 sent letters to every member of the House and Senate and asked them to oppose any legislation that would prevent the U.S. Postal Service from closing outdated and inefficient mail processing facilities.
Mailers Council Executive Director Robert E. McLean noted in the letter that the postal service is coping with lower First-Class mail volume, which contributes more than half of postal revenue, at the same time that fuel costs and employee wages are increasing.
In addition, this September the USPS must also contribute $3.1 billion into a congressionally mandated escrow account–the primary reason why postage rates will increase an average of 8.5 percent next year.
To reduce its costs the USPS has already eliminated nearly 100,000 jobs-without laying off one employee. Eliminating excess capacity in its mail processing system is the next step in the campaign to reduce costs.
According to the letter, the Council believes that “Congress must let the postal service continue with its plans to consolidate unnecessary and outdated facilities. Such closings are the only way we can retain affordable postal service in this country.”
Some postal employee groups have predicted service declines if facilities are consolidated. However, Mr. McLean notes in the letter that although mailers share such concerns, they believe that service disruptions would be limited and temporary.
The USPS is the focus of the $9 billion mailing industry that supports more than 9 million jobs. It maintains 37,000 post offices and 450 mail processing facilities that collectively employ more than 704,000 individuals in every state in the country.