Union Challenges Existence of Postal Service Financial Crisis
(Press Release) Washington, DC, September 7 — Underscoring the recklessness of the massive rate increase proposed by the United States Postal Service on July 6, American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus made clear on Friday that his Union does not believe the Service is currently in an unprecedented financial position. He made it clear that the Union will not back away from its contract demands during the current round of negotiations with the Postal Service, despite its supposed financial crisis. This furthers the case against the Postal Service request for a rate hike 10 times the rate of inflation.
"Mail volume is depressed and revenue is down, but we have faced similar circumstances before," President Burrus said. "The history of the Postal Service is replete with forecasts of doom and gloom." Click here to read or view President Burrus' full statement.
A law passed in 2006 limits postal rate increases to the rate of inflation except when "extraordinary or exceptional" circumstances make a larger increase necessary for the Postal Service to continue operating "despite best practices of honest, efficient and economical management." The Consumer Price Index has gone up less than 1 percent in the past year, the USPS is proposing rate increases of 10 times that rate. The Postal Service claims that its losses result from the "exigent circumstances" of the long-forecast recession and the long-term loss of mail volume to the Internet.
Also opposing the rate increase proposal is the Affordable Mail Alliance, an unprecedented coalition of more than 1,000 postal customers and trade associations representing the majority of the mail sent in the United States, who have joined together to strike down the rate hike. The Postal Service's projected shortfalls are not the sole result of the recession or the increased use of the Internet, but the Service's long-standing failure to control its costs. These chronic problems do not qualify as "exigent" circumstances under the law. Until the Postal Service deals with these long-term problems, any demands for above-inflation rate increases - in effect, a new tax on customers - is unwarranted and unproductive, and will likely drive away customers while exacerbating the Postal Service's problems.