For Immediate Release Contact: Jim Morrell
Postal Service Announces $5.1 Billion in Losses for 2011
Washington, DC – The U.S. mailing industry today expressed alarm about the rapidly deteriorating fiscal condition of the U.S. Postal Service after the USPS announced losses totaling $5.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2011.  The Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, a coalition of businesses and associations representing not only mailers of every kind, but suppliers from the paper, printing and technology industries, urged Congress to continue moving forward with efforts to reform the agency.
“For the Postal Service and the mailing industry, the news cannot get much worse.  If nothing is done to stem these losses, USPS will be forced to shut down within a year,” said Art Sackler, Coordinator of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service.  “There are 8 million private sector jobs that rely on the Postal Service, and these jobs will be put at-risk unless Congress quickly enacts bold reforms.”
The Postal Service’s losses came even after the federal government last month deferred a $5.5 billion Congressionally-mandated pre-payment that the agency was to make toward its retiree health care.  The Coalition supports permanently deferring this specific payment, and re-amortizing the rest of the payments over 40 years, as is contemplated in the Senate postal reform bill, S. 1789.  Further, more than $40 billion has already been set aside by the Postal Service -- enough money to fund all of the Postal Service’s retirees for decades to come.
In 2009, the mailing industry generated $1.1 trillion in economic activity, representing over 7 percent of our national GDP.
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Service is self-sustaining, relying on user fees, i.e., postage, to support itself;  but it is encumbered with an outdated operating structure and debilitating labor contracts, while being saddled with expensive, mandated over-payments into government retiree funds.  The Coalition is calling for Congress to enact reforms that include short-term steps to maintain the Postal Service’s solvency, and longer term steps to ensure it can be an effective medium of commerce and communications for the 21st Century.
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