February 6, 2013
Postal Service to End Delivery of Letters on Saturdays
By RON NIXON
WASHINGTON — The Postal Service is expected to announce on Wednesday morning that it will stop delivering letters and other mail on Saturdays, but continue to handle packages, a move the financially struggling agency said would save about $2 billion annually as it looks for ways to cut cost.
The agency has long sought Congressional approval to end mail delivery on Saturdays. But Congress, which continues to work on legislation to reform the agency, has resisted. It is unclear how the agency will be able to end the six-day delivery of mail without Congressional approval.
News of the move was first reported by CBS News.
The announcement, which is expected at a Wednesday morning news conference, comes as the agency continues to lose money, mainly due to a 2006 law which requires it to pay about $5.5 billion a year into a future retiree health benefit fund. Last year, for the first time, the agency defaulted on two payments after it had reached its borrowing limit from the Treasury Department. The Postal Service also continues to see a decline in mail volume as more people shift to electronic forms of communication like e-mail and online bill paying services. Packaging is one of the few areas where the agency is seeing growth.
While many business and postal unions have generally opposed ending Saturday delivery, most Americans support the move.
A New York Times/CBS News poll last year found that about 7 in 10 Americans say they would favor the change as a way to help the post office deal with billions of dollars in debt. The Postal Service continues to suffer losses of $36 million a day and is headed for projected losses of about $21 billion a year by 2016. Last year, the Postal Service had a net loss of $15.6 billion.
The American Postal Workers Union, which represents about 220,000 workers and retirees, said the plan to end six-day delivery will add to the agency’s financial problems.
“The A.P.W.U. condemns the Postal Service’s decision to eliminate Saturday mail delivery, which will only deepen the agency’s congressionally manufactured financial crisis,” said Cliff Guffey, president of the union.
Massive layoffs are coming and buyouts. Now there are part time employees working along side civil service employees doing the same work but at lower pay with no benefits. These workers get seniority credit towards a full time-position. They can kiss off any chance to get a permanent job with thousands of jobs being cut.
The crisis, if any, in the postal service was created to cripple it. The postal service ran a surplus until conservative forces in Congress demanded and got a change in accounting. If the previous accounting methods were still in use the postal service including pension obligations would again show that the postal service was showing a surplus/
Why did this happend despite legislation proposed to change the accounting? The postal service is unionized and ran as a government service. These two elements are under fire from both parties. Obama has made it clear that he supports private schools and busting teachers' unions, as an example
What is the goal? To make the postal service inoperable and despised to the point that the service is sold off for pennies on the dollar to private investors who control FedEx, UPS, and other for-profit shippers.
These companies with the exception of UPS are non-union and therefore get lower salaries and few benefits if they get benefits at all. More profits for the rich and fewer jobs and more shit jobs for the rest of us.
Any of you ship packages through private carriers? You know what the price differential exists. It must cost three times for a private carrier to deliver the package as it does for the postal service. Those higher charges do not go to the workers, they go for dividends to people who already have massive fortunes.
FedEX has drop boxes in post offices. UPS complained it was not put up for bid.
As well they might. Most people who complain about USPS don't realize that the USPS and the private carriers have a completely different business plan, although for the USPS it is not so much a business plan as legal obligations.
The USPS has to be ready to go to any address in the United States the same or next day when the local station gets the mail.
It is responsible for delivering tons of junk mail. It is required to keep a massive operation available for the public. All this requires a massive physical plant operation and many more workers per item delivered.
The USPS cannot, by law, close an unprofitable post office for financial reasons. The private places are always relocating drop off places according to what makes money for them.
Besides, they have to treat their employees better, pay them more, and give them benefits. The USPS employees have a union.
[quote]The USPS cannot, by law, close an unprofitable post office for financial reasons. The private places are always relocating drop off places according to what makes money for them.
But they do close post offices. The one in my little hometown closed, and the town was merged into the county seat's ZIP code. I understood this was for financial reasons.
I rarely get any mail that isn't junk. All my bills and statements are online.
UPS (United Parcel Service complained about non-bid. UPS and FedEX have contracts to carry USPS mail.
I hate this so much, UPS sucks.
There will be fewer carriers, but at least they'll get the weekend off. Now they rotate. Off Monday this week, Tuesday next, Wednesday following week.
You have the idea.
It looks like our resident communist Roland is back!!!
r10, postal carriers work six days a week currently???
Somebody had a good point that if they are going to cut down a day, maybe do Thursday because a lot of federal holidays are on Mondays so on those weekends there will be 3 straight days without mail.
Who cares, it should be like three times a week for business and once a week for residential. If people want every day delivery let them get a PO BOX and PAY FOR IT,
R14 = Freeper loser
The USPS closes post offices all the time, but they do not because they lose money. The Washington Post estimates that 80 percent lose money. They can close them for efficiency or cost savings, but that is a different issue.
Post offices are the same as public education, sanitation, fire departments, mass transit, and police. All lose money in the sense that they do not show a profit.
These organizations are public utilities. They don't make money, but our economy cannot function without them, so the effect is a net plus.
R14, fuck off, the postal carrier does a huge amount of good in my neighborhood. UPS fucking never knocks ever and runs over little kids in the trucks.
You know what would happen if we had to get our mail out of a mail box? FedEx and those private places would charge more rent for the box than for an apartment, then put mail in there three times a week.
Now it's at least twice as expensive to mail a package through the private services. Imagine what they could charge if that was the only way to send something.
For deliveries they would just leave a note and tell you to come to their outlet to pick it up.
Big corporations? For them they would offer cut rate for bulk. Us they would screw.
Just wait, that's the plan. Privatize the mail service. Then there wouldn't be any employee in the delivery system making decent wages, no benefits either.
r12, currently carriers get Sunday plus one weekday off, which rotates. Soon they'll have two days back-to-back.
I just read an article in an postal union newsletter. According to the article, not only has the USPS fully funded its pensions, it's been overcharged by billions. Also, there was recently a policy paper that proposed a public/private partnership. It was financed by Pitney Bownes, which also donated money to Rep. Darrell Issa. Hmmm...
Like everything else, we'll adjust to no mail on Saturday. An 86-year-old friend told me that when he was a kid in Union City, New Jersey they had twice-a-day delivery.