ALEXANDRIA, VA (June 23, 2003) – Ben Cooper, executive vice president for Public Policy at the Printing Industries of America (PIA), called recent meetings on postal issues held in Alexandria, Virginia, a "watershed event." During PIA’s spring board and administrative meetings, the association stepped up its efforts to meet the challenges faced by the United States Postal Service (USPS) by arranging briefings and panel discussions with key government officials and experts. The Government Affairs Department scheduled several sessions, most notably with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Postmaster General John Potter, as well as a panel of experts on postal issues. PIA also conducted a "joint board discussion" following the address by the Postmaster General on future steps the association can take in postal issues.
Sen. Collins, who chairs the Senate Government Affairs Committee that is responsible for postal issues, and the Postmaster General thanked PIA for its lobbying efforts to secure passage of legislation to address the overpayment by the USPS to the federal Civil Service Retirement System. That legislation, which will result in no postal rate increases until 2006, was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Collins. She also encouraged the industry to increase its grassroots efforts, stating that a meeting with a printing company in Maine last spring opened her eyes to the importance of postal issues to commerce in her state.
PIA has made Postal Reform one of its top issues for 2003–2004. A postal committee organized by PIA met on Monday, May 19 and included representatives from many of the major mailers and suppliers in the industry.
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