Change in delivery
Beginning Aug. 5, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will no longer be delivering mail to homes on Saturday.
The change came in an announcement Wednesday.
In addition to cutting Saturday delivery — a move that is expected to save $2 billion in expenses annually — the USPS said it would maintain a six-day delivery of packages and PO Box delivery would also continue on Saturdays.
As for its impact to Rutherford County, postal officials said that was yet to be determined.
"The Postal Service will be working with the various labor organizations to determine the impact," said Monica Robbs, spokesperson for the USPS in Charlotte.
Some customers at the Forest City Post Office did say it was concerning to stop Saturday delivery.
"For businesses it may not matter that much, but to residents it might," said Kiva Fuller, of Forest City. "If the 1st or the 3rd falls on a Saturday, people getting their assistance checks may have to wait."
But, she said that times are tough and the changes may be necessary.
"Whatever the post office needs to do to save itself needs to be done," Fuller said.
In a statement, USPS Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe said that the move is in response to the growth of package delivery and the financial struggles resulting from changing mailing habits.
"We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings," Donahoe said.
Donahoe said that the announcement came now so that residential and business customers have "time to plan to adjust." He said that the USPS will publish specific guidelines regarding the new delivery schedule.
During the last fiscal year, the Postal Service had a net loss of $15.9 billion and defaulted on its $11.1 billion retiree health benefit program, according to materials released on Wednesday. Since 2006, the Postal Service has reduced its annual costs by $15 billion and cut the size of its overall workforce by 193,000, or 28 percent.
"The American public understands the financial challenges of the Postal Service and supports these steps as a responsible and reasonable approach to improving our financial situation," Donahoe said. "The Postal Service has a responsibility to take the steps necessary to return to long-term financial stability and ensure the continued affordability of the U.S. Mail."
During a news conference Wednesday, Donahoe cited four separate polls in which nearly 70 percent of Americans were in favor of a switch to five-day delivery.
By keeping package and PO Box delivery, Robbs said that there are still options for customers who look for mail on Saturday.
In his statement, Donahoe also called for Congress to assist the Postal Service with legislation that will help "provide it with greater flexibility to control costs and generate new revenue."
Facebook response: How does stopping Saturday postal deliveries affect you?
It's inconvenient, but the USPS is in serious trouble and they need to get their act together, so I'm not going to complain if this helps them do that. But I suspect it will be like everything else they have tried and consequently will only be a drop in the bucket of their huge deficits.
Ryan W. Harris
Should have been done long ago.
I don't think it's a good idea at all! Many people work Mon-Fri and the only day to get to the post office is on Sat. That's when most cards and other things come as well. Pretty sorry budget cut.
It's no big deal. You'll just get your Saturday mail on Monday.
Teresa Carroll Revis