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Sleet and snow can't stop the Postal Service – but Saturdays can

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The schedule change, which the Postal Service is pursuing without congressional approval, marks a dramatic new step in the agency’s bid to close a yawning budget gap. The Postal Service reported an annual loss of $15.9 billion in fiscal 2012 – three times the loss recorded in 2011 – and defaulted on billions of dollars in retiree health benefits payments.

This year the agency needs to close a $20 billion budget gap. It hopes that $2 billion of that will come from ending Saturday letter delivery. Most of the projected savings would occur through a reduction in the size of the workforce by 45 million work hours, or 22,000 jobs. The agency said it planned to eliminate jobs through attrition and reducing part-time hours, not layoffs.

“This announcement today is one part of a much larger strategy to return the Postal Service to long-term financial stability,” Mr. Donahoe said. Since 2006, he added, the agency has reduced its workforce by 193,000 people, or 28 percent, mostly through attrition. It also reduced costs by $15 billion by consolidating mail processing facilities, eliminating 21,000 delivery routes, and reducing hours in more than 9,000 post offices across the country.

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