Five-day Mail Delivery Call Renewed by USPS, Would Cut Saturdays

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Thursday, 18 Jul 2013 11:28 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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The U.S. Postal Service renewed efforts for five-day mail delivery, eliminating Saturdays, in front of Congress on Wednesday, a move the agency claims would save $2 billion annually.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe made the call for five-day mail delivery to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The postal service needs Congressional approval to make such a change.

"We believe the timing is right to implement this change, especially in light of overwhelming continued support for five-day mail delivery by a vast majority of the public," Donahoe told members at the hearing, according to Fox News.

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The agency asked to eliminate Saturday service before but backed off the proposal in April after facing opposition from some lawmakers.

Fox News said the postal service lost $15.9 billion last year and $5.1 billion in 2011. In response to the losses, they closed 43 properties in 2011 and 49 in 2012, with the help of real estate firm CBRE. The agency in fiscal 2012 generated $228 million from the rental and sale of facilities, according to a recently released annual report, Fox News wrote.

Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, told The Associated Press back in April that keeping Saturday delivery was critical to the postal service's future.

"Losing this competitive advantage would not only reduce mail volume and revenue – sending the USPS on a death spiral – but also would disproportionately affect small businesses, the elderly, rural communities, the one-half of the public that pays bills by mail and the many millions who lack access to reliable Internet service," Rolando said then. "And it would cost tens of thousands of jobs."

Fox News said the union restarted its fight against the elimination of Saturday delivery in a June 15 dated letter to Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, saying the impending job losses from five-day mail service would swamp the private services.

"Given that there are more than 15 private sector jobs in the mailing industry for every USPS job, the negative employment impact of these cuts would be strongly magnified in the private mail sector," Rolando stated in the correspondence, according to Fox News.

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Related stories:

New Study Proposed Hybrid Public-Private Postal Service

Postal Service Continues to Lose Money, Thanks to Congress

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