USPS cuts Saturdays to try to save money

usps-cuts-saturdays.jpgThe U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday (Feb. 6) that it plans to stop delivering first-class mail on Saturdays by Aug. 1, 2013. This will only affect letters, catalogs and mailers; packages, priority and express mail will still be delivered on the weekend.

This change is an effort by the USPS to save money, after losing $16 billion in 2012. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma says the move will save $2 billion a year.

"It's a proper business decision and long run, good for the Postal Service and good for Americans," adds Coburn.

In the past six years, the USPS has lost over $40 billion, as consumers turn to private shipping companies like UPS and FedEx, or to using electronic means of communication. Previous cost-saving measures include cutting hours of service at about half the 26,000 offices nationwide and cutting the USPS workforce by 35%.

However, the USPS can't just unilaterally act on its own accord. Senator Coburn and Representative Darrell Issa of Calif. are drafting a letter to the House and Senate urging them to support the elimination of Saturday service and change the law that has prevented the USPS from doing this before.

Technically, the USPS cannot reduce its service unless Congress changes the law, but lawyers for the Postal Service think they have "figured out a way around the law," reports CBS News.

What that way is has not yet been revealed. Perhaps it is the fact that deliveries are not halted altogether, but just for first-class mail.
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