March 24, 2011: The National Association of Letter Carriers is gratified by the Postal Regulatory Commission’s decision not to recommend a shift to five-day-a-week mail delivery. Such a drastic move would inconvenience millions of Americans, including many who count on being able to get prescription medicines on Saturday; it would damage small businesses for which Saturday is an important workday; and it would have an inordinate impact on rural areas.
“We need to strengthen our only truly national communications network, not dismantle it,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. He noted that the PRC’s advisory findings carry weight with Congress.
Reducing 17 percent of postal service to save 2 or 3 percent in expenses has never been a good idea. It would reduce services to the public, while hurting future USPS revenue as others fill the vacuum. That’s reinforced by the PRC finding that the Postal Service’s estimate of $3.1 billion in savings was inflated by 45 percent, with the proper figure being $1.4 billion. Meanwhile, the commission said, the USPS would lose $600 million in annual revenue, a loss that would only grow over time.
Eliminating Saturday delivery also would delay the mail substantially, the PRC found. And the USPS failed to consider the impact of its proposal on rural customers, commissioners said. Urging care in changing postal delivery, Commission Chairman Ruth Goldway said, “The Postal Service remains a vital, beloved and important institution facilitating economic growth, aiding small businesses, enhancing communications and unifying the nation.”
“I commend the commission for its thoughtful deliberations and urge lawmakers to look carefully at the findings,” Rolando said. “This is an impartial board that takes into account the interests of the public and businesses as well as of the government.”