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USPS to Stop Saturday Mail

The U.S. Postal Service isn’t waiting any longer for permission from Congress to quit delivering mail on Saturdays. It says it’s going ahead with plans to start five-day-a-week delivery in August.Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says the agency’s financial condition is urgent, and the change will save about $2 billion a year.A spokeswoman for the USPS told ABC 17 News that more than one factor influenced this change.”Well certainly the economy has hit a bump in the road over the past several years and that has contributed to the postal service financial condition,” said Valerie Welsch. “Then other things that are impacting this also like electronic communications and thing likes that “Under the plan, letters would be delivered to homes and businesses only from Monday through Friday. Packages would continue to be delivered on Saturdays.Mail would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays, and post offices now open on Saturdays would remain open.The Postal Service has been advocating a shift to five-day delivery for several years, but Congress hasn’t approved it.Congress included a ban on five-day delivery in its appropriations bill. But because the federal government is now operating under a temporary spending measure, rather than an appropriations bill, Donahoe says the agency believes it can make the change itself.He says the agency is asking Congress not to reimpose the ban when the spending measure expires on March 27.Welsch says the Postal Service is trying to define employee impacts because the changes will likely mean a loss of jobs. More than 1,300 rural post offices have already reduced their employee hours from eight hours a day to between two and six hours. That alone could save more than $500 million dollars per years.The National Association of Letter Carriers President Federick Rolando calls the plan to end Saturday delivery “disastrous,” saying it will be harmful to small businesses and rural communities.

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