US Postal Service Stamps Out Saturday Mail Delivery© REUTERS/ Matthew Putney/The Waterloo Courier/Handout
WASHINGTON, February 6 (RIA Novosti) There is an old saying for the United States Postal Service that says “neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail” will keep the mail from being delivered. That is still largely true – except on Saturdays.
After posting a nearly $16 billion loss last year, the Postal Service on Wednesday announced that it plans to end Saturday first-class mail delivery in August.
“Our financial condition is urgent,” said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe at a Washington news conference. “It would be irresponsible for the Postal Service not to pursue this course.”
Donahoe said the move is expected to cut costs by as much as $2 billion a year and would lead to the elimination of 22,500 full-time jobs.
Under the new plan, mail will still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays, packages will still be delivered six days a week, and post offices that are currently open on Saturdays would remain open on Saturdays.
Technically the US Congress needs to approve the new plan to end Saturday mail delivery, but Donahoe said “we think we’re on good footing with this.”
Donahoe said the law governing Postal Service operations expires at the end of March and he said any disagreement can be resolved by then.
“Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s plan to end Saturday delivery is a disastrous idea that would have a profoundly negative effect on the Postal Service and on millions of customers,” said Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers in a statement.
“It would be particularly harmful to small businesses, rural communities, the elderly, the disabled and others who depend on Saturday delivery for commerce and communication.”
Most of the money lost by the Postal Service in 2012, $11.1 billion, was the result of increasing mandatory costs for future retiree health benefits and not because of reduced mail, according to The Associated Press (AP).
While mail delivery has declined because of email and the Internet, package delivery increased by 14 percent in 2010, the AP reported. And the decision to continue package delivery on Saturdays is a reflection of that.
“The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits,” said Donahoe.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.