Saturday mail will continue for those with post office box

By Corey Pride / Cpride@losbanosenterprise.comFebruary 7, 2013 

Residents anxiously awaiting letters on Saturdays should invest in a post office box by August, according to a U.S. Postal Service spokesman.

Gus Ruiz, the Sacramento district spokesman, said letters and packages will continue to be delivered to post office boxes after Aug. 5, the date when the U.S. Postal Service will stop delivering letters to residences and businesses on Saturdays.

At a Wednesday news conference Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Patrick R. Donahoe said that moving to a five-day delivery week is necessary because of growing deficits.

In the past fiscal year, the Postal Service has seen a financial loss of $15.9 billion. Cutting Saturday service will save the Postal Service $2 billion annually, and it needs $20 billion to repay debts.

Ruiz said the financial loss coupled with the service's loss of 22 percent to 25 percent of its mail volume over the past three years prompted the reduction to a five-day delivery service.

Ruiz said the Los Banos Post office is not scheduled for layoffs, but will have a change in work shifts like every other post office in the country.

"It's fair to say they have full-time staff on Saturday. After Aug. 5, it will be part time because of the reduction in work with not delivering letters," Ruiz said.

He said the post office will also be able to reduce staff expense because nationwide projections are that 40,000 to 45,000 postal workers are expected to retire or leave for other jobs. However, that assumption is being challenged.

It's estimated that 30,000 to 40,000 carriers will lose their jobs because of the cut, said Richard Gallegos, vice president of the Fresno Area American Postal Workers Union.

Ruiz said Congress must give the post office more freedom to run like a business. He said direct mail advertising is much more effective than any online equivalent, and that the service's packaging and delivery volumes have increased by 14 percent since 2010.

The Fresno Bee and McClatchy Newspapers contributed to this report.

The Fresno Bee and McClatchy Newspapers contributed to this report.

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