Industry speaks out at US iPost bill

The new iPost bill passing through Congress isn’t very popular, with 36 organisations involved in the mailing industry publishing a letter in opposition to Senator Tom Carper’s bill, arguing that a “a solution to the Postal Service’s financial challenges that forestalls network rationalizing cost-savings measures is not a long-lasing solution at all”.

The businesses took exception to the fact that the new act would in their words, “impose a multi-year moratorium on facility and post office consolidations and closures, while at the same time making permanent a temporary ‘exigent’ rate hike which is due to expire in April”.

The letter insisted that the resolutions in the iPost bill would not fix the major fundamental problems besetting the US Postal Service.

“Those problems will not be solved by imposing statutory rate increases and preventing cost-saving measures that have the potential to save the Postal Service billions of dollars per year,” they maintained.

The letter showed support for the USPS but made it clear that they objected to making permanent the exigency rate: “Our organizations remain committed to the Postal Service and its long-term viability. Mail continues to be the lifeblood of many businesses and nonprofits, and each of our organizations stands at the ready to work with Congress and the Postal Service to help solve the complex issues facing the organization today.

“We remain willing to support constructive measures that were touched on during the hearing that, if adopted, could enhance the Postal Service’s financial stability going forward. These include Medicare integration and restructuring of the Postal Service’s retiree health and pension benefit obligations, for which there is indeed consensus among the Postal Service, employee groups and the full mailing community.

“However, we cannot support non-consensus and unbalanced proposals – among them, the first Congressionally-mandated general increase in postal rates since 1968. By its very nature, an exigency rate is not a permanent rate. Both the independent Postal Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Court of Appeals have affirmed this point. Temporary fixes should not be mistaken for long-term solutions at the expense of the large mailing industry.”