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U.S. Postal Service retreats on eliminating Saturday mail

  • FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2014 file photo, U.S. Postal Service letter carrier Jamesa Euler, delivers mail in the rain in the Cabbagetown neighborhood, in Atlanta. The U.S. Postal Service says it will delay plans to cut Saturday mail delivery because Congress isn't allowing the change. The Postal Service said in February that it planned to cut back in August to five-day-a-week deliveries for everything except packages, as a way to hold down losses. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

WASHINGTON — The financially beleaguered Postal Service backpedaled on its plan to end Saturday mail delivery, conceding Wednesday that its gamble to compel congressional approval had failed.

With limited options for saving money, the governing board said the agency should reopen negotiations with unions to lower labor costs and consider raising mail prices.

Yet the board also said it's not possible for the Postal Service to meet its goals for reduced spending without altering the delivery schedule. Delaying "responsible changes," the board said, only makes it more likely that the Postal Service "may become a burden" to taxpayers.

Congressional reaction was mixed, mirroring differences that have stalled a needed postal overhaul for some time. Some lawmakers had urged the agency to forge ahead with its plan, while others had said it lacked the legal authority to do so.

The Postal Service said in February that it planned to switch to five-day-a-week deliveries beginning in August for everything except packages as a way to hold down losses.


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