WASHINGTON: The United States Postal Service (USPS), still reeling
from the spread of anthrax through its facilities and the resulting
deaths of two Washington, DC carriers, is at least enjoying the support
of many of its harshest critics as it appeals to the federal government
for financial assistance.
Such appeals by the postal service are normally met with accusations
from groups such as the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) who say
that the USPS wastes money, and should be forced to cut its overhead
rather than raise rates or receive help. But this time, the MPA and
others are lending their support in the form of an ad-hoc coalition
claiming that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.
"Because this was an act of war, this is something that the government
should be backing them on," said Ronni Faust, VP of communications at
the MPA. The money the USPS is asking for will be used to install
greater security measures to protect against future bioterror attacks,
and to compensate for lost business during decontamination.
The coalition, unnamed but led by Pitney Bowes CEO Michael J. Critelli,
includes what Gene DelPolito of the Association for Postal Commerce
calls "virtually all of the major customers of postal service," who
would face a rate hike should the government deny the assistance.