April 19, 2012

Udall Amendment Would Save Six-Day Postal Service

WASHINGTON - As the U.S. Senate considers reform of the U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced an amendment that would protect the Postal Service's six-day service, a significant competitive advantage for post offices and an essential service for communities and businesses. Saturday service supports nearly 80,000 jobs nationwide.

As currently written, the 21st Century Postal Service Act of 2012 would reduce post office service to five days per week in two years. Udall's amendment removes this requirement.

"Prematurely ending six-day service would be a drastic and far-reaching change to the Postal Service that disproportionally impacts rural and elderly customers in places like New Mexico," said Udall. "Cutting Saturday service would also be a potentially debilitating blow to the Postal Service that drives customers away. My amendment gives the Postal Service the chance to enact reform while continuing to provide services that our communities and businesses rely on."

A 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office found that moving to five-day service would not only reduce service for customers, but also put mail volumes and revenues at risk.

Rural communities would be particularly hard hit. Last week in Mule Creek, NM, Udall visited a post office that residents depended heavily on in an area with no cell phone service.

"The post office is the lifeline- the center of rural communities," said Udall. "And not just 5 days a week. For many working people, Saturday is the one day they can sign for packages, including for delivery of prescription drugs."

Udall's amendment is supported by the National Association of Letter Carriers and National Association of Rural Letter Carriers.