By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Members of New York’s delegation said they think the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to stop Saturday mail deliveries should be marked “Return to Sender.”
U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-C-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Staten Island), US Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Sunset Park-Manhattan) and U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Bensonhurst-Manhattan) are among the members a bi-partisan coalition of lawmakers who wrote a letter to U.S. Postmaster Patrick Donahoe today criticizing his decision to eliminate Saturday mail delivery and demanding that he reconsider the plan.
The new Monday-Friday mail delivery system begins in August. U.S. Postal Service officials estimated that the elimination of Saturday deliveries will save $2 billion a year.
But lawmakers said it's not a good solution the the agency's money woes.
“New York City has certainly seen the impact of the postal service’s financial troubles, but eliminating Saturday delivery and cutting postal jobs is not the answer,” Grimm said. “By maintaining six-day delivery, we can preserve local jobs and the high level of service provided to Brooklyn’s customers and businesses,” he said.
The letter, which was spearheaded by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens), was signed by more than a dozen members of the New York congressional delegation.
In the letter, the lawmakers contend that by ending Saturday delivery, the postal service is ignoring the intent of congress, shrinking their business model and profit opportunities and complicating the house and senate’s efforts to continue with comprehensive and bipartisan postal reform.
“Your plan will have negative and far-reaching consequences for postal employees, companies and consumers who need to be able to rely on six-day delivery being there when it’s needed,” the letter reads.
“The USPS’ decision to implement five-day mail delivery service violates the clearly-stated intent of congress for the last three decades to continue six-day delivery. Since 1983, congress has expressly stated that the United States Postal Service should maintain six-day delivery. Your attempt to violate congress’s intent for the last thirty years is an unwise decision. Instead of working with us on this issue, it appears you are attempting to ignore the democratic process.
“Not only does your decision violate thirty years of precedent, but these changes will irreparably damage the trust Americans have placed in the Postal Service. By diminishing your standards, the USPS will be made vulnerable to competition and continue to contract its business model rather than expand it. At a time when the Postal Service should be looking to increase revenues and business opportunities, instead, the USPS is headed in the opposite direction and limiting potential business opportunities. Companies that rely on six-day mail delivery may opt to explore private delivery services. This could very well mean significant mail volume decreases for USPS and further financial hardship,” the letter reads.
Donahoe said the postal service is responding to changes in consumers’ communications needs brought on by email and text messages. “The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits,” Donahoe said.
“We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings,” he said.
Recent strong growth in package delivery (a 14 percent volume increase since 2010), will mean that the U.S. Postal Service will continue to deliver packages on Saturdays, officials said. Donahoe also said post offices currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays.