Fighting for Saturday; USPS Workers Rally Against Delivery Changes

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LANSING (WILX)-- Mail delivery on Saturdays is facing an uncertain future.

The postal service needs to fill a 20 billion dollar budget gap by 2016 and want to cut Saturday mail delivery to save money. USPS says cutting mail delivery down to 5 days will save 2 billion dollars annually, but some local postal workers don't see it that way.

In February the USPS Postmaster Patrick Donahoe warned congress that they was on the brink of default. He proposed the 5 day mail delivery schedule as a way to save money, but local workers in lansing predict it will do the opposite.

He's looking at trying to make a quick fix as fast as he can," said American Postal Workers Union member Jesus Gonzalez.

"The savings are not going to be that great because we are still going to be processing the mail and we are still going to be delivering of packages," said member of the Nation Association of Letter Carriers Jami Groce.

One of the reasons the Postal Service is losing money is because it must pre-pay into a fund that covers pensions and health care for future employees. Local workers believe if this policy is changed, then 6 day delivery can be saved.

"We're pre-funding retiree health benefits for 75 years. That's 5 1/2 to 6 billion a year for people not even born yet," said Groce.

Congress is not making it easy for the Postal Service to change delivery schedules. Legislation requiring a 6 day delivery schedule was passed as part of the federal budget. But Postmaster Donahoe wants to go through with the delivery change with or without congresses approval. It will become effective as of August 5th of this year.

The Postmaster of Lansing's office denied to speak with WILX, but did release this statement:

"Once the delivery schedule language in the Continuing Resolution is signed into law, we will discuss it with our Board of Governors to determine our next steps. Establishing a new delivery schedule - which will generate approximately $2 billion in annual cost reductions - is an important element of a larger strategy to close a $20 billion budget gap by 2016, and to avoid the potential that the Postal Service may eventually become a significant burden to the American taxpayer. Independent market research and polling shows strong public support for the new delivery schedule in communities across the country and is a responsible and reasonable approach to address our urgent financial situation and America’s changing mailing habits."

If congress does not allow the post office to adapt they may be forced to ask for a taxpayer bailout of 47 billion by 2017, according to USPS Spokesman David Partenheimer.

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  • by Joyce Location: Lansing on Mar 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM
    My personal feeling is that this savings of Two Billion Dollars will cost the Post Office Four Billion in lost income. I'd rather use the Post Office, but if there is no Saturday delivery, I am forced to use another delivery service.
  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Mar 25, 2013 at 08:41 AM
    So simply put these people would rather not give up any type of benefits let alone break on any concessions, but they will complain when they don't have a job. I see the mail man in our office every day on his cell phone paying little or no attention to the offices, then he parks behind the building talking some more i am assuming because he is done or ahead of schedule. I don't see anything positive about a group who chooses to complain yet offer no better solutions. I think I would simply be happy to have a job
  • by Jennifer Location: Lansing on Mar 25, 2013 at 05:30 AM
    I think the post office should continue with Saturday mail. If, in some areas, the mail volume is too high to condense into five days, then they will either need to hire more workers or not have mail delivered on time. If they had to hire more workers, then the point of no Saturday mail is mute. Plus, I would like my mail delivered on time.
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