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U.S. Postal Service to eliminate Saturday mail delivery

Hundreds of Oklahoma U.S. Postal Service employees could be affected, representatives say.
by Brianna Bailey Published: February 6, 2013

The Postal Service cutbacks will also affect companies that handle direct mail marketing in the state, including The Oklahoma Publishing Company, parent company to The Oklahoman.

OPBUCO has been planning for the possibility of postal cutbacks, and the company doesn't anticipate it to have a material affect on its business, said Melissa Leddon, direct mail marketing consultant for OPUBCO.

“It's going to take a little more planning, but I don't think its really going to affect us that much,” Leddon said. “All we can do is make our customers aware of the possible changes.”

OPUBCO handled about 45 million pieces of direct mail last year and is on track to double that amount next year, she said.

The Postal Service expects to eliminate Saturday mail service in August. The agency made the announcement Wednesday, more than six months before the switch, to give residential and business customers time to plan and adjust, officials said.

The change won't affect the delivery of Social Security checks and other federal benefits, because payments are switching to a direct deposit system beginning March 1.

Lawmakers' response

Oklahoma lawmakers were mixed in their response to the proposed postal service cuts.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, said in a letter along with Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., that he supported the elimination of Saturday mail delivery.

“This common-sense reform would save the Postal Service more than $2 billion annually. In his recent inaugural address, President Barack Obama spoke about the need to find real solutions to our nation's problems. Supporting the U.S. Postal Service's plan to move forward with five-day mail delivery is one such solution worthy of bipartisan support,” the letter said.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, said he was saddened by the cuts, but eliminating mail service on Saturday might be necessary because of the postal service's dire financial situation.

“This is an unfortunate decision, but the post office is running out of options to deal with overwhelming financial challenges,” Cole said. “Rural residents have already been forced to adjust to the closure of numerous post office locations, and ending Saturday delivery may help forestall even greater disruptions in service until the agency can reach more sound financial footing.”

Contributing: Chris Casteel in the Washington Bureau and The Associated Press

by Brianna Bailey
Business Writer
Brianna Bailey has lived in Idaho, Germany and Southern California, but Oklahoma is her adopted home. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and has worked at several newspapers in Oklahoma and Southern...
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