MINNEAPOLIS - The financially troubled U.S. Postal Service is eliminating the equivalent of more than 22,000 jobs by cancelling Saturday home mail delivery beginning in August, 2013. However, Twin Cities Post Offices are planning to hire 400 new assistant mail carriers.
"It is going to be an adjustment, because we are so used to working on Saturday," commented Donnia Riley, Minneapolis mail carrier. Riley noted that she and other carriers have been working a lot of overtime.
"They are saying it is (because the USPO) is short staffed and so, of course, if they are short-staffed, they are going to make everybody work extra. So, it kind of sucks because you do have people in the station (post office) that love to do overtime and then you have those that do not want to do overtime," said Riley.
Even though home mail delivery is to cease in August, packages will still be delivered. Postal Service spokesperson Pete Nowacki told Kare11's Allen Costantini that many of the new carriers will be assigned to the Saturday package deliveries.
He emphasized that applicants for the 400 positions must apply on-line athttps.//www.usps.com by Monday, February 11, 2013, then click on "careers" at the bottom of the page. Applicants must be 18 years of age and be a U.S. Citizen or have permanent alien status. They must have a valid driver's license and "a minimum of two years documented driving experience." They must also be willing to be flexible on schedules and be physically capable of carrying and delivering mail in Minnesota.
Reactions from customers to the planned cancellation of Saturday home mail deliveries varied.
"Saturday delivery (being cancelled) for me would make a difference," commented Les Heller of Golden Valley, "mainly because this is part of my business. I ship everyday...no Saturday delivery? I get a lot of packages in the mail." Heller is an on-line auctioneer. He believed there is a generational divide on the question.
"The people that are younger than I am, the 20s, 30s and 40s, they do everything electronically. I do not really think that they care, but older folks...look forward to the mail."
Younger Minnesotans who spoke with Costantini, however, indicated some dissatisfaction with the Saturday delivery cancellation.
"I do not like it because it is going to stop something like Netflix and things like that," said Andrew Pitan of Crystal. "It is going to take away from some mail, but I can see their point of why they want to stop it, because, saving money."
"I think it is kind of a lousy idea," offered Michael Loeffler of Brooklyn Park, "It is something we have grown accustomed to that everybody uses, everybody needs. You know, once you start cutting things, they never come back."
Not all older Minnesotans want to cling to the Saturday delivery. "I think it is a wonderful idea," said Gary Hoonsbeen of Crystal. "We do not need it. Cut the costs. Get the costs down on the whole postal system. Rates just went up dramatically for a lot of mail. They have got to cut costs."
One way to continue to receive mail on Saturdays is to have a Post Office Box. That mail will still be delivered to the rented boxes. However, the rental cost of the boxes varies according to size and location.
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