The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that it will end Saturday home mail service for first-class mail, a move that is expected to save the financially strapped agency $2 billion. The decision to cut Saturday service is set to take effect Aug. 5. No first-class mail means letters, magazines, advertising mail, catalogs, newspapers and Netflix DVDs will not be delivered on Saturdays, regional Postal Service spokesman Ernie Swanson said. Parcels will be delivered on Saturdays, and those who have a post office box will still get their mail, he said. “We are simply not in a financial position where we can maintain six days of mail delivery,” Postmaster General and Chief Executive Patrick Donahoe said. “The ease of online bill payments has led to the decline of first-class mail volume since 2008, a major blow to the institution.” In the past fiscal year, the Postal Service has seen a financial loss of $15.9 billion.
… The decision to end Saturday home mail service doesn’t necessarily mean layoffs or other wholesale changes, Swanson said. The Postal Service has been operating very lean in recent years, he said, not hiring and providing incentives to employees to retire or take early retirement. Since 2006, the agency has reduced its workforce by 193,000, Swanson said.
If a job is eliminated as a result of Wednesday’s announcement, that employee might be able to work at another Postal Service location, he said. “We’re trying to handle the change through attrition, and not have to lay anybody off,” Swanson said.
However, Richard Gallegos, vice president of the Fresno Area American Postal Workers Union in California, estimates 30,000 to 40,000 carriers will lose their jobs because of the cut.
Meanwhile, the end of Saturday home mail service takes effect the same week as Washington state’s August primary. The primary is Aug. 6.