Postal Impact: Reaction To No More Saturday Delivery

Posted at 4:34 PM, Feb 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-06 20:21:39-05

postalgrand rapidsGRAND RAPIDS, Mich. —  Starting the week of August 5th, no letters or bills will be delivered to your door on Saturday and there will be no mail pick-up at your home.

55-year-old Grand Rapids post man Edward Thome does his afternoon rounds door-to-door just like he has done for 27-years.

“Every day is about the same, actually Friday’s are our heaviest days,” said Thome, as he drops off another letter.

For him, it’s too early to know how the latest decision by the United States Postal Service to stop first-class mail delivery on Saturday will impact his job.

He believes it comes with some cons and possibly a weekend perk.

“For me, it would be nice only because the trouble I have trying to get some Saturdays off , overall I’m not sure what’s going to happen with it down the road”.

The Postal Service will still deliver packages, express mail, and medications and Post Office locations will still be open.

“When you lose the First Class volume that we’ve seen, you can’t make ends meet from a financial standpoint. The choice is either change some of the service or raise prices. And people don’t want prices raised, we’ll make the changes in service,” said Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO.

The Postal Service has been deep in the red, posting $16 billion losses for 2012. The agency has struggled to keep up with the rising costs of health care benefits and the popularity of people going to the computer instead of the mailbox.

“Personally myself, I  do a lot of online banking and the opportunity whenever I can do something online,  I do it,”  ‘said Grand Rapids resident Judy Mazurek.

“I mean other than mailing packages I use online , so I can understand why they are struggling, ” she said.

The changes is expected to save the Postal Service around $2 billion a year.

While it is ending a 150-year tradition, many say they agree with anything that saves jobs and cuts down on the price of stamps.

“I don’t think it will harm us overall, but it is just going to be a new change to get used to,” said Postal Worker Edward Thome.

No word yet on the impact the changes will have on West Michigan jobs.

“There will be some impact,  but what it is going to look like,  we don’t know right now because the talks are still in place,” said Sabrina Todd, the public relations represenative for the United States Postal Service Greater Michigan District

Just last year, the Postal Service consolidated many of its mail processing facilities, including the Kalamazoo facility, which moved operations to Grand Rapids.

It’s unclear how the U.S Postal Service can eliminate the Saturday mail delivery without congressional approval.

For the last 30 years, Congress, has included a provision which insists on Saturday delivery, but Post Office representatives told Fox 17 on Wednesday that they do not need approval to switch to five-day delivery.