USPS, the United States Postal Service, announced today that first-class mail will no longer be delivered on Saturdays after Aug. 1 due to financial difficulties.
USPS lost $16 billion last year, according to CBS News. Eliminating first-class mail service on Saturdays will save the Postal Service $2 billion each year, according to Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.
According to USPS, it has lost money over the year because of citizens turning to private shippers, email and online banking for services they once needed the Postal Service for. Previously, USPS has cut down hours at half of its 26,000 post offices and laid off about 35 percent of its workforce.
David Walker, a member of a panel examining possible postal reforms, told CBS News that the lack of Saturday service “won’t come close to solving the Postal Service’s problem.” He said that USPS will need to look at infrastructure, compensation costs, retirement obligations and what organizations it works with.
There are currently laws in place prohibiting USPS from eliminating Saturday service, but its lawyers believe that it has figured out a way around the law.
Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del. said, “Despite my disappointment, it’s hard to condemn the Postmaster General for moving aggressively to do what he believes he can and must do to keep the lights on at the Postal Service, which may be only months away from insolvency.”
American Postal Workers Union president Cliff Guffrey said, “The APWU condemns the Postal Service’s decision to eliminate Saturday mail delivery, which will only deepen the agency’s congressionally-manufactured financial crisis.”
Because USPS is an independent agency, the White House just found out about its decision Tuesday.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said, “We put forward a year and a half ago a series of proposals for reform of the Postal Service that would put it on much more firm financial ground, and it passed the Senate. Unfortunately, the House failed to take it up. So it would be our preference that that comprehensive package of reforms be implemented for the sake of a stronger future Postal Service.”