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Who Will Be Affected as the US Postal Service Ends Saturday Delivery?

Who Will Be Affected as the US Postal Service Ends Saturday Delivery?

The United States Postal Service will end Saturday delivery of first class mail by August 1.

The move comes as the cash-strapped agency struggles to cut costs in order to meet a congressionally-mandated pension funding requirement. Under the plan, the USPS will continue to deliver packages on Saturdays and local post offices will remain open for customers.

The USPS has been dealing with declining volumes of mail for some time, as more and more personal correspondence moves onto the internet. Still, the post office has been dealing with a 2006 law that required the post office to put tens of billions of dollars into its pension fund within 10 years. That money would fund pensions for 75 years.

The 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, passed by a Republican-controlled Congress and signed into law by then-President George W. Bush, required the USPS to pay between $5.4 and $5.8 billion dollars into a newly-established Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund. The postal service is currently dealing with massive ongoing debt, losing $36 million a day. In 2012, the USPS lost $15.6 billion.

Postal workers are blaming the PAEA for largely creating the ongoing crisis with the USPS’s finances. In 2012, workers staged a four-day hunger strike to protest the law.

Certainly, you can make an argument for stopping Saturday delivery; the move will save the USPS $2 billion a year. Still, it’s unfortunate that it’s being done as much because Congress is unwilling to allow the USPS flexibility as anything else. The move will hurt direct-mail companies, especially magazines, which are already struggling. It will also mean that people who purchase medication by mail will have one less day per week to receive it — potentially risking adverse health impact.

The move is an especially big issue in rural areas, where the post office provides a convenient link to a variety of goods and services.

Understandably, postal workers are outraged by a move that seems certain to cost jobs and paychecks. In a statement, Frederic Rolando, the president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, decried the move, and called for the ouster of Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

“If the Postmaster General is unwilling or unable to develop a smart growth strategy that serves the nearly 50 percent of business mailers that want to keep six-day service, and if he arrogantly thinks he is above the law or has the right to decide policy matters that should be left to Congress, it is time for him to step down,” Rolando said.

The USPS has been in operation since before the founding of the country. Established by the Continental Congress in 1775, the Postal Service employs more than half a million people, and operates the world’s largest vehicle fleet. The post office was a government agency through 1971, when it was transformed into a semi-private regulated monopoly.

How do you feel about this new change? Use the comments section below to voice your opinion.

 

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Image Credit: Egan Snow

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154 comments

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4:19AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

They need to completely over-haul the postal service starting with a complete audit.

8:53AM PST on Feb 19, 2013

I do not buy from the US on the internet, USPS cannot compete with anybody else. Now I know why. Saturday deliveries do not effect anything, in Australia we stopped this for years. Lets face it, you get a cheque on a Saturday delivery, you still have to wait till Monday and wait another 2 days plus for the bank to act so they get their cut.
USPS has to be made competitive and more changes would have to be made to benefit the USA and prospective customers from overseas. Everytime I want to buy from the US I look at postal charges, UPS and I check elsewhere. Sorry.

5:42AM PST on Feb 12, 2013

ty

3:25PM PST on Feb 11, 2013

This is a manufactured "crisis" because Congress required the Post Office to do something NO other agency, company or industry in the United States, public or private, has ever had to do, and that is to have that $75 MILLION payment to cover all postal employees, now and FUTURE (people not even born yet) pensions and this is the millstone around the neck of the postal employees. This problem is the result of idiotic actions taken by that legislative body, with no oversight, review, or revision.

11:19AM PST on Feb 11, 2013

RepubliCONS are killing the post office to kill the postal union, the largest union left in America,
which will hurt Democrats ability to organize resistance against the poorly named 'Citizens United' world of unlimited corporate political fundraising!! Bush era Rethuglicons passed law to require 75 years worth of pension funding in only 10 years! NO OTHER business or agency has ever been required to do so! They are devious and long term thinkers when it comes to political gain and don't give a damn about the people in America!

1:19PM PST on Feb 10, 2013

ty

8:43AM PST on Feb 10, 2013

The USPS is not the problem, congress has raped USPS revenues for years and then blames the USPS pensions and drop in first class mail for the failure. Just like school funding, the politicians force cost cutting on the schools and then blame them for poor student performance. The same greed is at work. One of the biggest contributors to reelections campaigns is Fed-Ex followed closely by UPS, think there might be a motive there. The poor performance in schools is rapidly followed by a large surge in charter "schools". the primary difference being that the charter schools don't come under the same testing requirements as the public schools.

Is it a big surprise that Fed-Ex, UPS and most Charter Schools are run and administered by the IBC (Ignorant by Choice) party. Rethuglicans. Come on people, time to clean out the mess in Washington and elect some people that actually represent the people instead of their greedy assed rich boddies.

5:26AM PST on Feb 10, 2013

Thank you.

2:57AM PST on Feb 10, 2013

Excellent comment Alison M. I heartily agree. One additional point to note is that in the 2006 legislation that mandated prefunding the pension for 75 years, was also a clause that the USPS could not abandon Saturday delivery. Welcome to the Republican/Teabagger "tie their hands" school of management. Donahoe is actually breaking the law by discontinuing Saturday delivery, but that law expires at the end of March this year, long before the implementation of 'no Saturday delivery'. Now I don't know Donahoe, but could it be that in breaking this Republican/Teabagger law, he is actually trying a squeeze play to use some baseball lingo?

Good comment John C --- time for some pension reductions.

@ Lauren B --- I am Canadian and I do remember saturday deliveries. I guess that makes me older than you. I also remember milk and bread deliveries by horse drawn wagons, the vegetable carts in the summer, and the wetstone man sharpening knives as he walked the streets. I'm only 61 years.

1:30PM PST on Feb 9, 2013

Don't have deliveries AT ALL here! You COLLECT your own mail. So far there have been no reported casualties....

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