Sunday is no longer the only day we won’t be making trips out to the mailbox. According to an Associated Press report on Wednesday, the U.S. Postal service plans to eliminate Saturday mail deliveries as of Aug. 5.
The move is a result of financial struggles within the government agency and is expected to save the USPS $2 billion annually.
Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe said in his press conference Wednesday that the Postal service was in an “urgent” financial condition.
USPS Washington, D.C. spokesman George Maffett concurred and said financial changes had to be made, and outlined a 5-year plan.
“The Postal Service is currently on an unsustainable financial path and must move forward with actions that are responsible and necessary,” Maffett said. “The Postal Service plans to issue a revised comprehensive five-year financial plan in early March. This plan will identify important cost reduction activities and steps to restore the Postal Service to long-term financial stability.”
While general mail will be halted, the USPS will continue to deliver packages on Saturdays. The continued delivery of packages is in line with the agency’s growth – package delivery has increased by 14 percent since 2010.
The Postal service has seen regular declines in the delivery of standard mail and letters. The increased use of email and social media has cut the agency’s workload significantly.
Since 2006, the USPS has made $15 billion in budget cuts, along with consolidating over 200 mail processing locations. Roughly 28 percent of its workforce has been slashed as well over the last seven years.
The American Postal Workers Union opposed the decision to shutter Saturday mail service. Union president Cliff Guffey said the move puts the agency is on a dangerous path.
“The APWU condemns the Postal Service’s decision to eliminate Saturday mail delivery, which will only deepen the agency’s congressionally-manufactured financial crisis,” Guffey stated in his Feb. 6 press release.
“USPS executives cannot save the Postal Service by tearing it apart. These across-the-board cutbacks will weaken the nation’s mail system and put it on a path to privatization,” Guffey added.
Post offices will remain open on Saturdays for walk-in traffic, even though no mail will be delivered.