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Post Office to End Saturday Delivery of First Class Mail

The U.S. Postal Service is cutting services, including Saturday delivery, CBS News reports:

MailAfter losing $16 billion last year, the postmaster general will make announce Wednesday that the Postal Service intends to halt Saturday delivery of first-class mail by this summer, Aug. 1, CBS News has learned. That means most mailers, letters and catalogs would not arrive on Saturdays, ending a 150-year tradition.

The plan to shrink delivery from six days a week to five would only affect first-class mail, while packages, mail-order medicines, priority and express mail would still get delivered on Saturdays.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., says the move will save the struggling postal service $2 billion a year. "It's a proper business decision and (in the) long run, good for the Postal Service and good for Americans."

The Postal Service has lost $41 billion dollars over the past six years as more and more Americans turned to private shippers, email, and online banking.

Watch the CBS News report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. The USPS has turned into a running joke for the past few years. Our service (in downtown Chicago) is spotty at best. I was very happy the day that they lost a piece of certified mail that contained documents needed for traveling abroad. When we called the station, they said there was nothing they could do. (and they were rude)

    Perhaps if they actually had workers that cared about their jobs and actually did them, more people would use the post office.

    Posted by: C.J. | Feb 6, 2013 11:12:49 AM


  2. One of the biggest problems - and one that NOBODY is talking about - is the fact that Congress is trying to break up the postal carriers union, which is one of the largest unions in the US. They're forcing the post office to pre-fund many accounts that NO OTHER AGENCY IN THE US is forced to do.

    The fact that Coburn gave lip service is laughable. He's part of the problem.

    Posted by: Walter H | Feb 6, 2013 11:24:27 AM


  3. I have always been pleased by the service of the USPS. I think it is a great bargain. About a month ago I mailed my sisters partner a birthday card and she received it the next day. She only lives about 30 miles away. However door to door service in one day is remarkable. I think the USPS like the DMV are government services that perform great services to the public and are well worth the money.

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 6, 2013 11:25:01 AM


  4. To borrow from a friend's response to a similar thread elsewhere: SUMMARY: the Post Office is required by the Constitution, but many conservatives and several marquee congresspeople -- and, yes the FedEx and UPS lobbyists -- feel like it should be privatized (eg. turned over to FedEx or UPS, which are profit making enterprises). They also hate that the Post Office is effectively 100% unionized.

    Since it's required by the Constitution, they can't eliminate it, so they first cut all taxpayer dollars to the Post Office years ago (while still allowing many people to believe the post office is losing money and wasting taxpayer dollars) and then passed this ridiculous requirement that the Post Office must first use any money they make to fund IN CASH--no other company or agency has to do this--pensions nearly 3 decades in advance, a requirement that instantly bankrupted the Post Office, finally turned the myth of an unprofitable post office into a reality, and now creates the "urgency" to cut the Post Office services and workforce (even though it costs taxpayers nothing) until it is still there (that pesky Constitution again) but people are forced to turn to private industry for those services anyway.

    It encompasses two things I HATE about DC and politics: pretending to one thing (saving worker pensions) while secretly doing something else (setting up the post office to forever be unprofitable) and "creating" an emergency that wasn't there before so as to get worried people (the public and other lawmakers) to sign onto a plan they otherwise would not agree to, weakening the Post Office and union in the process. And all the while they count on the American people not to be informed enough to do anything about it.

    Posted by: breckroy | Feb 6, 2013 11:28:42 AM


  5. People (reporters) need to start holding these people accountable so that the topic goes to who is ruining the Post Office instead of these myths that people are using fedex too much.

    Posted by: Fensox | Feb 6, 2013 11:46:35 AM


  6. I'm sure most of the stories about this will blame the internet and not the fact that the Post Office is required to fund their pension plan for the next 75 years! This was set up by the GOP and shipping lobbyists to destroy the post office. The thing is, most Americans won't care.

    Posted by: KT | Feb 6, 2013 12:00:36 PM


  7. Necessary changes were made by Reagan and others over the past 30 odd years in regards to reforming how the USPS does business and what were absolutely extravagant union contracts, and no I'm not anti-union.

    However, it's also true the P.O. is saddled with having to fund pensions for the next 75 years. And yes, this is excessive. However, it's also unfortunate the P.O. for so many years provided out of control and extravagant pensions and benefits vis-a-vis the average American worker, so I wouldn't expect too much sympathy from the average American worker.

    The P.O. today I don't think even really hires that many regular workers, most seem to be casual or seasonal, and they get FAR less $ and benefits compared to regular P.O. employees doing the exact same work.

    I think the P.O. actually does a pretty good job and have few complaints, however Saturday 1st class delivery should have stopped by now. The writing has been on the wall for a long time.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 6, 2013 12:34:47 PM


  8. "The Postal Service has lost $41 billion dollars over the past six years as more and more Americans turned to private shippers, email, and online banking"

    Really? And not because Congress requires it to make pension payments NOW for employees that won't exist for another decade or two?

    Any Post Office story that fails to mention this his basically a lie. the GOP is trying to privatize the Post Office and that is the only reason why they are losing money.

    Posted by: TC | Feb 6, 2013 12:40:41 PM


  9. Im not anti-post office and I support repealing the horrible burden congress has placed on them...

    But seriously....

    For home delivery, I could deal with one or two days a week. I dont need daily delivery. Most everything I do is online and paperless. The daily mail is simply a daily delivery of trash. we literally have a trash can on the porch and it goes right from the box to the trash. I dont need the weekly ads for places I never shop.

    And to be honest, i couldnt tell you how much a stamp even is. I might mail something once a year...maybe.

    Its an important institution but its not 1930. I wonder if people freaked back then when they stopped delivering TWICE a day

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Feb 6, 2013 12:45:44 PM


  10. "It's a proper business decision and (in the) long run, good for the Postal Service and good for Americans."

    Ugh. Enough with the 'government as business' crap. Government and business have two different missions, two different structures, and two different constituencies. They are two different kinds of institutions.

    Posted by: mike | Feb 6, 2013 12:54:21 PM


  11. Competition is good, and the other shipping companies aren't losing any money. The only people this is good for are the shareholders of FedEx and UPS.

    The infrastructure to compete with the other shippers is there, I don't see why the USPS shouldn't compete with them. Historically, the USPS did the job. It's only recently, with the ongoing cuts and the congressional sabotage that the USPS hasn't.

    The USPS is only going to get more inefficient, as more facilities are closed, and packages get re-routed greater distance, as has been happening the last few years. This isn't good for the public.

    The USPS people I've spoke to where I live are professional, polite, and explain what's going on. Eventually they'll be downsized, too, though. Rewarded for doing a good job the American way !

    Posted by: JustSayin' | Feb 6, 2013 12:56:02 PM


  12. About time!! From retired Plant manager, In 2006 it cost the PO 1,M dollars everytime fuel went up one cent per gal.
    Should only deliver 3-days each week per Rt.then delivery could focus on parcel del.and make it competitive with UPS.
    The postal unions and the cronies in congress and quata pushers have run this business out of business.----forget that!!! Its all the working people who is footing the bill. Why don't someone tell the customer he will pay extry to get 6 day delivery, see how many sign up??? The PO is nothing more than another Gov. intitlement program. Too many unquilified quota personal.Too many Rt stops made with no mail. No one in this country needs their junk mail 6 days a week. Not even meds.
    If implemented, next year PO would be 6-B
    in the black!

    Posted by: David Tunnell | Feb 6, 2013 1:00:33 PM


  13. Many countries around the world do not have Saturday mail service and this was an obvious move. Saturday isn't a business day.

    Posted by: Sam | Feb 6, 2013 1:42:11 PM


  14. UPS and FedEx both charge around $20 to deliver a "letter" -- not a package, a flat letter -- from SF to NYC.

    Who would a charge like that hurt? Those who aren't plugged in electronically, who tend to be in lower economic strata, the elderley... sounds like a list of those whom Republicans despise.

    Posted by: Elsewhere | Feb 6, 2013 1:52:32 PM


  15. For all those folks claiming "I don't need daily delivery". You are not the only customer the post office serves. The USPS is a bargain and is essential to many small businesses and rural customers. Not to mention low income/ seniors. Many people depend on the post office to get vital medications by mail they could not afford any other way. Some people even still get DVD's delivered by mail. This is the US Government working for big business and not the tax payers. Republicans want to privatize it. One reason Fed Ex UPS rates don't rise as fast as those corporations would like is because of the USPS and its low rates.

    Posted by: KevinSF | Feb 6, 2013 1:57:58 PM


  16. I agree they should reduce it to 5 days a week, but I think it's stupid to get rid of Saturday because that's the one thing they had going for it - being open on a weekend day. Why not cut Monday or Tuesday instead?

    Posted by: Diana | Feb 6, 2013 2:10:03 PM


  17. Ratbastard, you have no idea what you are talking about. In 1985 postal workers in the Bay Area of California started at $11.75 per hour. I was averaging over $15 per hour waiting tables at the time, and even banquet work was paying $9.50/hr. The postal wage was far from extravagant.

    Yes, the postal workers have great benefits and a real pension plan. That's not extravagant, that used to be normal. We have allowed private industry in the US to gut the security of working people. IN the process, all concept of worker and employer loyalty has been lost. Even the suits can't count on proper conditions, so they get a new job and start looking for a new job. Do you have any idea how much this country loses in productivity because of professional hopscotch?

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 6, 2013 2:13:29 PM


  18. Averaging $15/hr in 1985 dollars was excellent, especially for 1985.

    I don't know about the rest of your story and what the average postal pay was circa 1985, but I can tell you as of 2011, a friend who has been a long time postal employee, a sorter/clerk, made $76,000. for that year; I know because I helped with his taxes. He also complained bitterly about having to start paying premiums for his heath insurance when they started to require postal employees pay them not too long ago. He does basically one thing...sort mail.

    I agree with you pensions,etc. were the norm, and I also agree it's unfortunate American workers have had a war waged against them especially over the past 30-odd years.

    @Diana,

    Good point. Didn't think of that.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 6, 2013 2:46:24 PM


  19. @Diana,

    On second thought, they'll probably still keep P.O.s open on Saturdays, just not deliver 1st class mail.

    Express Mail is delivered every day.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 6, 2013 2:47:36 PM


  20. Rat Bastard:

    According to Todd Schnitt, post offices which are currently open on Saturdays will continue to be so. Mail will still be delivered to post office boxes. Parcel post home delivery will continue.

    As for your friend who made $76,000, I'm guessing that he worked a lot of overtime. They wouldn't have paid the overtime if it were cheaper to hire someone. Many businesses do this. I'd hate to think what the guy who repairs the AC units on my houses clears but I can tell you that he has a nicer house than I do, a nicer boat than I do, a nicer truck than I do (well it cost more but it's a Ford and I have a Toyota so I actually have the better truck) and supports a wife and two kids. He also works a helluva lot harder than I do. I don't begrudge him a thing that he has.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 6, 2013 10:28:18 PM


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