Ending Saturday mail delivery likely to affect 100 local jobsPosted: Updated:
The neighborhood mailman won't be coming around as often, as the Postal Service said Wednesday it plans to soon eliminate mail delivery on Saturdays.
Officials call it an urgent, drastic decision but one that had to be made. Although some say not receiving mail on Saturdays isn't a big deal, to some - including postal workers - it will make a difference.
"I'd rather have them do that than go away altogether," said Nashville resident Joe Funderburk.
The Postal Service, which suffered a $15.9 billion loss in the past budget year, said it expected to save $2 billion annually with the Saturday cutback. While Saturday mail is ending, packages will still be delivered on Saturday.
The postmaster general said the move is absolutely necessary because of changing demand. A huge factor, he said, is so many people now pay their bills online.
"We are simply not in a financial position where we can continue to maintain six-day delivery. We are in a situation where we are obligated to make some tough choices and decisions," said Postmaster General Pat Donahoe.
"A lot of people are concerned. They know doing away with one day of mail delivery is going to affect jobs," said Dave Clark, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Local 4.
Clark said it remains too early to know for sure, but he expects roughly 100 jobs in Middle Tennessee will be affected by the change, which means about one-sixth of the local workforce.
Cutting Saturday mail doesn't bother some, but Clark said it's a bigger deal to others.
"People that it would affect mostly would be your elderly, people in rural areas, your businesses that like to ship on the sixth day or the Saturday or when people are at home," Clark said.
Congress oversees the Postal Service, so some are questioning how the Postmaster General can cut Saturday service without lawmakers' approval.
The plan is set to take effect in August.
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