The US Postmaster General calls an end to Saturday mail delivery. In a cost cutting effort, the Post Office will limit Saturday delivery to packages only, starting in August.
The annoucement came as a surprise to many who work in the postal industry. The president of Southern Oregon's Local #1433 of the National Association of Letter Carriers says many area postal carriers are worried about their jobs.
Nationally the move is projected to reduce 45 million work hours. Under the new structure, packages will be delivered on Saturdays by City Carrier Assistants. These workers will be paid less than regular mail carriers, and they will not receive full benefits. It is projected to save the financially struggling agency two billion dollars a year.
Email and other competition from private delivery services is responsible for only part of the agency's financial woes. A congressional mandate requiring the US Post Office to pre-fund 41%of the agency's future employee retiree health benefits is what's being tagged as the primary cause for the drastic move.