The U. S. Postal Service announced today that as of Aug. 5 of this year, they would stop the collection and delivery of mail on Saturdays. This move ends the 150 year old tradition of six-days a week mail delivery we here in far west end Richmond and across the country have become accustomed to.
The Postal Service says the move will result in a savings of $2 billion annually for the cash-strapped agency. Packages, a growing and profitable part of the mail business, will still be delivered on Saturdays, and post office boxes will continue to receive mail that day
Magazines, some newspapers, catalogs and Netflix movies would not reach customers’ homes on Saturdays. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, pointed to the growing number of people using the Internet to pay bills and stay in contact with people.
“It’s irresponsible for us not to pursue this course,” he said at an announcement at postal service headquarters in L’Enfant Plaza. “It’s too big of a cost savings to ignore." While Americans “Do value the mail they receive, they like to pay their bills online.”
Besides getting opposition from the letter carriers, clerks and mail sorters unions, the move to five day delivery will go against the will of Congress, who for the past 30 years has mandated 6-day a week delivery of the mail.
The mandate for the delivery of mail six days a week has been attached to a rider on the annual budget appropriations bill every year since 1983. Donahoe says the stopgap budget may not be binding, and the change in mail delivery may get past without any opposition.