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U.S. Postal Service To Keep Saturday Letter Service

The U.S. Postal Service is backing down from its plan to cut Saturday service, following a congressional order, a Postal Service spokesman said Wednesday. 


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“Although disappointed with this congressional action, the board will follow the law, and has directed the Postal Service to delay implementation of its new delivery schedule until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule,” according to a U.S. Postal Service statement.

The Postal Service initially had planned to cut its Saturday letter delivery, and deliver only packages on Saturday. The plan set to take place in August.

The financially beleaguered Postal Service conceded that its gamble to compel congressional approval had failed.

With limited options for saving money, the governing board said the agency should reopen negotiations with unions to lower labor costs and consider raising mail prices.

“Our plan in the past has been to reduce the number of employees through attrition,” Maher said. “We’ve reduced the number of employees by 193,000 since 2006 without any layoffs."

Going forward, the governing board is still discerning what action needs to be taken in response to Congress' recent decision, Maher said.

The Postal Service’s governing board also said it's not possible for the Postal Service to meet its goals for reduced spending without altering the delivery schedule.

Delaying "responsible changes," the board said, only makes it more likely that the Postal Service "may become a burden" to taxpayers.

Congressional reaction was mixed, mirroring differences that have stalled a needed postal overhaul for some time. Some lawmakers had urged the agency to forge ahead with its plan, while others had said it lacked the legal authority to do so.

The U.S. Postal Service is backing down from its plan to cut Saturday service, following a congressional order, a Postal Service spokesman said Wednesday.

“Although disappointed with this congressional action, the board will follow the law, and has directed the Postal Service to delay implementation of its new delivery schedule until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule,” said USPS spokesman Richard Maher.

The Postal Service initially had planned to cut its Saturday letter delivery, and deliver only packages on Saturday. The plan set to take place in August.

The financially beleaguered Postal Service conceded that its gamble to compel congressional approval had failed.

With limited options for saving money, the governing board said the agency should reopen negotiations with unions to lower labor costs and consider raising mail prices.

“The plan is to implement (cuts) through attrition as we have done,” Maher said. “We’ve reduced the number of employees by 193,000 since 2006 without any layoffs.  

The Postal Service’s governing board also said it's not possible for the Postal Service to meet its goals for reduced spending without altering the delivery schedule.

Delaying "responsible changes," the board said, only makes it more likely that the Postal Service "may become a burden" to taxpayers.

Congressional reaction was mixed, mirroring differences that have stalled a needed postal overhaul for some time. Some lawmakers had urged the agency to forge ahead with its plan, while others had said it lacked the legal authority to do so.

“The board continues to support the transition to a new national delivery schedule,” the statement read. “Such a transition will generate approximately $2 billion in annual cost savings and is a necessary part of a larger five-year business plan to restore the Postal Service to long-term financial stability.”


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