The following statement was released by The Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, which consists of business mailing associations and companies:
Washington, DC â€“ The nationâ€™s private sector mailing industry today voiced support for the U.S. Postal Serviceâ€™s plan to study more than 3,600 local offices, branches and stations for possible closing. The Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service views streamlining the system as an indispensable reform, but continues to urge Congress to enact more comprehensive measures that would put the Postal Service on a path to long-term solvency.
â€œThis is bitter medicine, but changed times call for a changed Postal Service. With mail volumes declining at a dizzying rate, we need a Postal Service that is leaner, more efficient and less expensive,â€ said Art Sackler, Chairman of the Coalition. â€œThe closure of a post office can be difficult, but these avenues must be explored to ensure that the Postal Service and the 8 million private sector jobs that rely on it are able to survive, and that the economy as a whole doesnâ€™t take yet another disruptive blow.â€
The Postal Service is not only vitally important to the U.S. mailing industry, which generated $1.1 trillion in economic activity, representing over 7 percent of our national GDP, but to commerce and communications. With more than 165 billion pieces of mail still being delivered this year, a shut down would be disastrous for the economy.
The Postal Service is self-sustaining, relying on user fees, i.e., postage, to support itself. But it is encumbered with an outdated operating structure, and saddled with expensive, mandated over-payments into government retiree funds.
To avoid a costly postal bailout, it is critical that Congress enact meaningful reforms to the Postal Service. This must include short-term steps to maintain its solvency such as restoring fairness to its retiree obligations. It must also include longer term steps to free USPS to streamline its system, collectively bargain more effectively, and innovate expansively while preserving service to all Americans.
â€œThe Postmaster General and the Postal Service should be commended for tackling this issue. Now, we need Congress to follow suit quickly and enact the reforms necessary to save the Postal Service and the 8 million private sector workers who depend on it,â€ said Sackler.