Postal service meets in Memphis to discuss cutting Saturday service

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The U.S. Postal Service wants to alleviate some of its budget problems by cutting Saturday delivery.  But some Mid-South residents are fighting to keep mail delivery on weekends.

Bernadine Hughes has been a U.S. postal employee for over 20 years.  To her, even the thought of eliminating Saturday delivery is frightening.

"A lot of jobs are probably going to be abolished," she said. "They won't have a need for as many of us."

Hughes and other protestors gathered outside city hall Wednesday.  They attended the Postal Regulatory Commission's public hearing to review whether the U.S. Postal Service plan to eliminate Saturday delivery should be implemented.

Commissioners say the U.S. Postal Service is in deep financial trouble and will have to cut services to make ends meet.

"People don't use mail today as they did five or ten years ago," Commissioner Dan Blair said. "You don't get as much mail and you don't need it quite as often."

The postal service would give up Saturday mail deliveries to help balance a budget that threatens to put the agency in the hole by over $200 billion over the next 10 years.

In addition to internet competition, the postal service also faces huge costs in pension and healthcare benefits for employees like Hughes.

"That will not only affect the postal workers.  It will also affect the general public, businesses, and what have you," Hughes said.

Commissioners say they plan to make a recommendation to the U.S. Postal Service on the proposed change sometime this fall.

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