US Postal Service to stop delivering mail on Saturdays to cut costs

The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service says it plans to stop delivering mail on Saturdays, but continue delivering packages six days a week.

In an announcement scheduled for later Wednesday, the service is expected to say the cut, beginning in August, would mean a cost saving of about $2 billion annually.

The move accentuates one of the agency's strong points - package delivery has increased by 14 percent since 2010. The delivery of letters and other mail has declined with the increasing use of email and other Internet use.

Village Cleaners in North Syracuse depends on the post office to deliver mail to its customers every few months. But the owner, Jeffrey Cook, wasn't surprised there will be one less day a week to do that.

"I'm surprised it's taken this long to get to this point. They've been loosing money for a long time so it's time for a change," says Cook.

Even though Cook relies on the post office to deliver promotional offers to his preferred customers, he doesn't think the lack of delivery service on Saturday will really have any impact on his business.

"As far as how it impacts our business I think it will be a non event," says Cook.

While sending mail at the Syracuse Post Office on Taft Road, Donna Gibbs of Cicero says it's a necessary evil.

"It's a shame that they need to do these cutbacks but they need to be done and it is what it is. So I guess we'll just get a whole bunch of mail on Monday," says Gibbs.

At the North Syracuse Post Office, Fredirch Kretshmer says he's happy with the cuts for religious reasons.

"I'm in favor of nobody working on Saturday because it's the 7th day and the bible says not to work on the 7th day," says Kretshmer.

Carol Sheradin of Mattydale says it will be better for families.

"At least we still get our mail during the rest of the week and I feel they need a break from it too on weekends so they get more time with their families," says Sheradin.

In the dry cleaning business, there are still clothes that need alterations and care.

"We'll adjust, we'll adapt and our business will remain open and we'll continue to get our coupons out to our customers," says Cook.

The head of the letter carriers union says it's a "disastrous idea."

Fredric Rolando says the move will hurt "millions of customers" -- particularly businesses, rural communities, the elderly, the disabled and others who depend on Saturday delivery. He also says it goes against the will of Congress as expressed over the past 30 years.

But the postmaster general, Patrick Donahoe, says research indicates that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs.

It's not clear how the service will be able to eliminate Saturday mail without congressional approval. Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages, and it unsuccessfully appealed to Congress to approve the move. The postal service gets no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations, but it is still subject to congressional control.

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