Saturday mail delivery halted

While the broader effects of an announcement by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) have yet to made public, USPS officials issued a news release Wednesday stating that Saturday would be eliminated from the mail delivery schedule beginning the week of Aug. 5 to help control costs.

The move should save the USPS approximately $2 billion annually.

Local Post Office postmasters referred inquiries to USPS regional spokesman David Vanallen. Vanallen said that the USPS is currently reviewing all situations that will be affected by the change. Package deliveries will continue once the plan is fully implemented.

“We are currently reviewing all of our bargaining agreements and our contracts with the union,” Vanallen said. “It will ultimately result in the reduction of about 35,000 jobs, including supervisory positions.”

Vanallen said he was confident that the majority of the cuts would be able to be addressed without cutting jobs.

“Since 2006, we have been able to eliminate 193,000 positions without a major cutting of jobs,” Vanallen said. “We are confident we will be able to absorb the majority of the cuts with attrition due to retirement and reassignment of other workers.”

Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages. However, recent strong growth in package delivery, which experienced a14 percent volume increase since 2010, and projections of continued strong package growth throughout the coming decade led to the revised approach to maintain package delivery six days per week, Vanallen said.

Mail addressed to post office boxes will continue to be delivered on Saturdays. Post offices currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays.

Market research conducted by an independent agency said that seven in 10 Americans supported the switch in an effort to reduce costs.

Local post offices in operation are located in Wapakoneta, Cridersville, St. Johns, New Hampshire, Botkins, Uniopolis and Waynesfield.

Vanallen said cuts implemented since 2006 have saved the USPS $15 billion annually and they are examining making moe cuts.

“We are very early in the process and the fact of the matter is it is too early to tell how it will impact specific offices,” Vanallen said.