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Letter carriers union denounces move to five-day mail delivery

Wednesday - 2/6/2013, 12:11pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The head of the letter carriers union says it's a "disastrous idea."

Fredric Rolando is reacting to the announcement that Saturday mail delivery will come to an end in August. Under the plan -- aimed at saving up to $2 billion a year -- mail would go to homes and businesses from Monday through Friday. Packages would still be delivered on Saturday.

Rolando says the move will hurt "millions of customers" -- particularly businesses, rural communities, the elderly, the disabled and others who depend on Saturday delivery. He also says it goes against the will of Congress as expressed over the past 30 years.

But the postmaster general, Patrick Donahoe, says research indicates that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs.

It's not clear how the service will be able to eliminate Saturday mail without congressional approval. Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages, and it unsuccessfully appealed to Congress to approve the move. The postal service gets no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations, but it is still subject to congressional control.

%@AP Links

157-c-15-(Jon Belmont, AP correspondent)-"billion dollars a year"-The AP's Jon Belmont reports the postmaster general is set to announce the end of Saturday mail delivery starting in August. (6 Feb 2013)

<> 00:15 "billion dollars a year"

158-c-15-(Jon Belmont, AP correspondent)-"packages on Saturdays"-The AP's Jon Belmont reports most Americans say they won't mind seeing Saturday mail go the way of the Pony Express. (6 Feb 2013)

<> 00:15 "packages on Saturdays"

156-v-34-(Jon Belmont, AP correspondent)--The postmaster general is set to announce the end of Saturday mail delivery starting in August. AP correspondent Jon Belmont reports. ((Will stand after expected announcement at 10 aes.)) (6 Feb 2013)

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GRAPHICSBANK: US mail carrier delivers mail, over logo, with SATURDAY DELIVERY lettering, finished graphic (6 Feb 2013)

GRAPHICSBANK: US mail carrier delivers mail, Montpelier, Vermont, graphic element on gray (6 Feb 2013)

APPHOTO PX103: In this Saturday Dec. 19, 2009 file photo, U. S. Post Office letter carrier Tim Bell delivers the mail during a snow storm in Havertown, Pa. The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service says it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to deliver packages six days a week under a plan aimed at saving about $2 billion a year. In an announcement scheduled for later Wednesday Feb. 6, 2013, the service is expected to say the Saturday mail cutback would begin in August. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma) (19 Dec 2009)

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APPHOTO WX101: FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2011 file photo Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. The U.S. Postal Service will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to deliver packages six days a week under a plan aimed at saving about $2 billion, the financially struggling agency says. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) (6 Sep 2011)

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