Postal chairman says agreement for higher rates on June 30 looks promising

Tuesday, January 8th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A deal that would raise mail rates by June 30 seems likely, the chairman of the Postal Service's board of governors said Tuesday.

The increase would boost the price of a first-class stamp three cents to 37 cents and raise other rates as well.

``A settlement looks promising,'' Robert F. Rider said, noting that a majority of major mailers have agreed to accept the proposed rate increase.

Rider said he believes those who have not yet accepted the deal will either agree to it or at least will not formally oppose the new rates.

The post office announced plans to raise rates Sept. 11, a complex process that generally takes about a year to take effect.

But because of losses suffered by the agency due to the terrorist attacks and sluggish economy, the post office and major mailers have been negotiating a speedup that would put the rates in effect three months early in return for a promise not to seek another increase this year.