U.S. Post Office Plans to Stop Saturday Mail Deliveries
The U.S. Postal Service said it will ask Congress for permission to end Saturday mail deliveries beginning as soon as August to cut financial losses.
The service, which lost $15.9 billion last year, said it would continue six-day deliveries of packages, deliver mail to post-office boxes and keep open retail locations that now operate on Saturdays.
By ending delivery of letters on Saturdays, the service would reduce costs by as much as $2 billion a year and cut 45 million work hours annually, it said in a statement released before a 10 a.m. news conference in Washington.
Lawmakers have stifled previous cost-cutting proposals, including efforts to end Saturday mail delivery. It wasn’t immediately known whether the service can implement its strategy without Congress’s approval.
The post office’s losses have continued to widen and are estimated at $25 million a day. Mail volume is down 26 percent from its 2006 peak. To pay bills and keep the mail moving, the postal service has had to skip $11.1 billion of required payments over the past two years for future retirees’ health costs. It exhausted its $15 billion borrowing authority last September.
The service says it will run out of money in October even after ignoring this year’s retiree health obligation. If it can’t pay employees or buy fuel for trucks, Americans looking for their bills, magazines and catalogs could find empty mailboxes….