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Cutback: U.S. Postal Service eliminates mail delivery on Saturdays

In response to years of decline in usage, snail mail will become even slower this August.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe announced Wednesday that the U.S. Postal Service expects to save $2 billion annually once Saturday mail is eliminated.

The Postal Service’s new schedule will go into effect Aug. 5. Package delivery will remain Monday through Saturday, but mail delivery, such as letters and magazines, will only be Monday through Friday.

“The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business,” Donahoe said in a news release.

David Van Allen, Spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service for Ohio, said there is no longer enough mail for six days of delivery, but it makes sense for package delivery.

Package delivery has increased 14 percent nationwide since 2010, according to the release.

First-class mail has declined 50 percent and the postal service suffered a deficit of $15.9 billion last year, Van Allen said.

“We can make steps toward long term financial stability,” he said.

Since 2006, the Postal Service has decreased its annual costs by $15 billion and reduced the workforce by 193,000 workers, according to the release.

Van Allen said stopping mail on Saturdays will cut 35,000 jobs nationwide. He added most workers will be reassigned and given new positions, and that it is too early to know how many jobs will be lost in Ohio.

Terry Grant, president of the Ohio Postal Workers Union, said he thinks the cutback is not necessary and will costs Ohio jobs.

“I believe it is a continuation of us waiting for Congress to address the finance difficulties in the Postal Service,” Grant said.

Grant said he believes most of the funding problems come from the Postal Service being required to provide funding for future retirement. Grant said $5.5 billion is spent on the retirement policy.

Congress still has to approve the scheduling change, because it funds the Postal Service, said Susan Burgess, Ohio University professor of political science.

She said the Postal Service making the change without Congressional approval was not unconstitutional and it is likely to be approved.

Grant said the most concerning part of changing the Postal Service is its lasting importance in American history.

“It has been around for hundreds of years and I don’t see a reason to mess with it,” Grant said.

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