Printing Industries of America is proud to be a part of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service. This coalitions consists of business mailing associations and companies – including magazines, newspapers, advertisers and catalogers, financial services, telecommunications,  insurance and other statement mailers, high-tech businesses, small businesses of every kind – and their suppliers – paper, printing, technology, envelope manufacturing, mail services and other companies, who understand the essential role played by the U.S. Postal Service and want to see it sustained, reformed and strengthened to meet the demands of the future.

The U.S. Postal Service yesterday announced it is suspending its employer contributions to the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS) as a way to conserve cash needed for salaries and mail delivery.  The move comes as the Postal Service estimates it could run out of cash as soon as this October, which would result in a national shutdown of the mail.

“The U.S. Postal Service is hanging by a thread, and 8 million private sector jobs along with it,” said Art Sackler, coordinator of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, a group representing the private sector mailing industry.  “This underscores the need for Congress to make quick, bold and substantive reforms to the Postal Service.”

The future of the Postal Service is vitally important to the U.S. mailing industry, which supports 8 million private sector jobs.  In 2009, the mailing industry generated $1.1 trillion in economic activity, representing over 7 percent of our national GDP.

While the Postal Service is self-sustaining, relying on user fees, i.e., postage, to support itself; it is encumbered with an outdated operating structure, while being saddled with expensive, mandated over-payments into government retiree funds.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.

“There is still time to reform the Postal Service in a way that preserves private sector jobs and costs taxpayers nothing, but that time is rapidly coming to a close,” said Sackler.