NORMAN — The decision by the Postal Service board of governors to delay a Saturday delivery cut is good news for many of us who still count on the Postal Service as one of our communication tools.
Small businesses, rural community, smaller newspapers and seniors depend on daily mail delivery. Eliminating that portion of its schedule was proposed in February and quickly got the attention of mail customers and Congress.
The Postal Service said it could cut $2 billion in costs by eliminating Saturday mail service but keeping Saturday parcel delivery. It lost $16 billion last year, with $11 billion of that coming from a Congressional mandate that it fund future retiree benefits.
The Post Office is operating with 28 percent fewer employees than it did seven years ago. It has consoidated more than 200 mail processing locations and closed some rural post offices.
Instead of pushing ahead with the dark Saturdays, the Postal Service was directed to re-open negotiations with its labor unions and consider raising mail prices again.
That last option may hurt the most. Rising postage costs drive more people to conduct their business online and by e-mail. Most businesses have the flexibility to eliminate inefficiencies. Unfortunately, the Postal Service is not like most businesses.