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US Postal Service mulls end to Saturday delivery

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Retired letter carrier Jim Berry of Lockport

By Eileen Buckley

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-910004.mp3

Buffalo, NY – The proposal to end mail delivery on Saturdays was the topic of a public hearing at City Hall in Buffalo Monday.

The U-S Postal Service is considering five-day a week delivery to save billions of dollars. The Postal Regulatory Commission hosted the hearing.

Retired letter carrier Jim Berry of Lockport showed up in protest. He carried a sign calling for six day-mail service to continue

The Buffalo hearing was one of the last of seven held across the U.S. It was also the largest hearing in terms of the number of those testifying with three panels of witnesses.

Postal Service District Manager in Western New York Kathleen Burns noted that the Internet and recession have effected the bottom line for the Postal Service. She said itis time to drop Saturday delivery.

"I think it is inevitable," said Burns.

But the Letter carriers union is against the plan. Robert McLennan is president of Branch 3 of the National Association of Letter Carriers. He said if the Postal Service switches to five-day mail service, the Buffalo area could lose between 300 to 500-postal jobs.

McLennan said the Federal Government actually owes the Postal Service $75 billion in overpayments for the pension system -- money he believes needs to be repaid. McLennan calls five day a week mail delivery a terrible plan.