Bernie Sanders: Postal Service Must Keep Saturday Mail

March 26, 2013

Citing a legal opinion by the Government Accountability Office, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday called on Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to withdraw his plan to stop Saturday mail delivery.

Sanders said the opinion by the non-partisan GAO unambiguously declared that the Postal Service has no legal authority to end Saturday mail without the approval of Congress. In fact, Congress just last week passed a bill that restated the requirement for the Postal Service to maintain Saturday mail delivery.

Sanders called on the postmaster general to formally withdraw his plan to eliminate Saturday mail beginning on Aug. 1. “I am urging you to make it clear to the American people that the USPS will continue Saturday mail delivery in adherence with the law,” Sanders said in a letter.

Sanders stressed that the major reason for the Postal Service’s financial woes is a congressional mandate to pre-fund 75 years of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period. “No other government agency, no other corporation in America is burdened with this mandate,” Sanders said. “This pre-funding mandate is responsible for about 80 percent of the Postal Service’s financial losses since 2007.”

Before this pre-funding mandate was signed into law by President George W. Bush, the Postal Service was making a profit.  In fact, from 2003 through 2006, the Postal Service made a combined profit of more than $9 billion. “I look forward to working with you to end this onerous mandate once and for all which would keep the Postal Service healthy and thriving for years to come,” Sanders told the postmaster general.

Sanders also said he looks forward to working with Donahoe to lift legal restrictions that now keep the Postal Service from offering new and innovative products and services.  “It is clear to me and to many others that there are significant opportunities for increased revenue for the USPS, if given the opportunity to aggressively compete in the marketplace,” Sanders said.

To read the letter, click here.


  • sandy

    we are not delivering the mail on saturday cause there isnt any..why cant they see..there is not enough mail to keep us open four days but we have to go to five

    • nylc

      Who is this ‘we’? Saturday mail is the third heaviest volume day after Monday and Friday for carriers, with Tuesday being the lightest. Eliminating Saturday will make Mondays unbearable. Any of the so-called savings the PM claims – and cannot substantiate when Congress has asked for proof – will be eroded by Monday overtime.

      • L Kosko

        Easily solved by redistribution schedules. Easily changed by recatagorizing and modifying curtailing mail. Easily easily easily for those who are invested in saving the post office through change, and not for just staying the same and sinking.

  • sandy

    we need to get all the boxes to the curb with no more walking routes then maybe we can stay open on saturday cause each route will have more volume..lets getter done

  • Randy

    Sandy, in an urban environment you just can’t have curbside delivery. The parked cars would make you have to get out of the truck for most deliveries. In some areas, t might be possible to put rural boxes along the sidewalk to eliminate the need to walk up driveways and porches to the houses. Nothing will work for everyone.

    • Elmo

      Thank you to my union (Branch 358) for emailing all our members a notice about the six day rally this past Sunday. Emailing? are you kidding me? They had enough money to buy shirts but they couldn’t afford a bulk rate letter to notify their members. Who’s kidding who?

      • Elmo

        We all know that five day will work in the long run. The union should be working with management for a change and stop being dues and OT driven. Worried about a heavy load on Monday or a Tuesday after a holiday? How about an RCA or CCA helping the overburdened routes and having someone supervise the weekend crew at the plants so they don’t overload the DPS with bulk rate mail. Nobody is going to go after our letter business on Saturdays if we don’t deliver it. Who would invest in a decreasing market. The unions need to worry about a future USPS and not just their current status. What good are jobs this year if there not here in the future. Stop being narrow minded and feeding everyone a line of crap.

        • L kosko

          Well said Elmo

      • no rush

        Shocking! The union used a quick, cheap way to get in touch with its members! The shame! Thank god they didn’t call you on the telephone!

        Reminds me of the trolls who periodically post that they tried to call their union office on Saturday, and NO ONE WAS THERE!

        Obviously you don’t CALL your union office on Saturday, you WRITE THEM A LETTER! Am I right Elmo??

  • city carrier

    Put curb side, Cluster box , cut Saturday. What ever it takes. We all know how much the mail has dropped. If we listen to the Union because they want to keep their member dues, the post office will truly go under

  • Guest

    Im not sure which Post Office you people work at, but if my office did not deliver mail on Sats, my rural carriers would be out until 8pm every Monday night. At our office it would be logistically impossible to make it work. Our outgoing Monday mail would completely miss the dispatch, the plant sort, delay mail and crash our EXFC scores.

    • Ann

      2/3of the mail you get is bulk mail any way. They will just spread it out more throughout the week. It can easily be done.

      • L Kosko

        Ann you are right. Too many nay-sayers and nothing can get done. Yeah-sayers need to be heard. Speak up for positive change.

    • leroy

      No you are mistaken, Processing will cease on saturday so monday will have one day of processing just like the other days.

    • Guest

      1. I have 8 rural routes, 2 city and 2 clerk positions. Not one of my employees belongs to a union and i have had only one unscheduled sick call in the last 12months. We all work for a living here.
      2. 2/3rds of our mail is FCM preferential mail because we are the county seat.
      3. Mail will still be processed on fri/sat nights and sat mornings in post offices (not sure where Leroy is getting his info).
      4. What may work in one Post Office because of the specifics of that office and the make up of the community, will not work in every office.
      Sounds like you all need to get off the big city route gravy trains and get a real job with 600 deliveries and 80 mile routes.

      • no rush

        Not to change the subject, but if not one of your employees belongs to a union, then none of this is any of their business.

        By the way, is it really as glamorous as it sounds to live in “the county seat”?

        • L Kosko

          Sure it is their business! They have a stake in making the PO productive again. It sounds like they work well above the union standard of bare minimum, entitlement, screw management mentality. Keep up the awesome work. Every time someone’s feelings get hurt in my office there is a sick call. It only hurts the other carriers who have to pick up the slack

          • no rush

            Nope, your wrong. The USPS negotiates with the union, not with the scabs in “Guest”‘s post office. They have no say in those discussions- the union negotiates on their behalf, but since they’ve decided not to be part of the union, they don’t get to play any role in the discussion.

          • L Kosko

            No you are wrong. Guest was discussing outstanding work ethics. It is everyone’s business, as u call them “scab”‘ or the union member to work hard. I believe that guest was probably alluding to the “substandard work ethic of union mentality” when he reveals the outstanding work ethics of his non-union employees. There ore so many aspects of daily work that should not be “negotiated by the union”. His employees work for a living, not negotiate it.

          • no rush

            Sorry to disappoint you L, but it’s the law. The USPS doesn’t negotiate with scabs- under the law, working conditions and wages are subject to bargaining with the unions that represent the workers. Scabs aren’t involved.

            I realize that in your mind management can do no wrong, and workers should just shut up and do as they’re told. You’d be right at home in a Chinese sweatshop, wouldn’t you?

          • Guest

            Re read the original comment. The guest never mentions negotiating wages or work conditions. He was just sharing about excellent work ethics. You are off topic. You keep bringing it back to union negotiations which was never a part of the original comment. You would be better off joining a conversation that has to do with union negotiations, not work ethics. 2 different subjects.

          • no rush

            The subject is 5 day delivery, not “excellent work ethics”. “Guest” is the one that introduced the unions into the discussion. Re read the original comment.”Not one of my employees belongs to a union”.

            I was merely pointing out to “Guest” that his “employees” have no business being involved in the discussion because they’ve chosen not to be involved in the union. That’s just a simple matter of fact and law, not an opinion. And I’m not impressed that they are apparently afraid to use sick leave when they need it. That has nothing to do with “work ethics”- that’s just fear of retribution. Which is why we have unions.

  • l kosko

    Going to 5 day delivery allows for more accountability on routes, less sick calls on Saturdays, and a chance for the floundering PO to save money. The many positive aspects of 5 day delivery far outweigh the loss of 1 day. The union has lost its perspective what its members want. In my office of approximately 80 people there are only a handful of postal workers who don’t want Saturday off. The quality of life that 5 day delivery would afford us would be phenomenal. Rotating days off hurt families, don’t allow for adequate rest and just plain old suck. After 30 years I am ready to spend weekends with my family.

    • snesky icehole

      Then retire!

      • Karen

        totally agree!!

        • L Kosko

          Karen and sneaky, although retirement may be your answer to me for not wanting to work Saturday’s, or the other clever answer ” get a different job” oh yes and how about you knew 30 years ago that you had to work Saturday’s, it doesn’t fit the situation. Those of us who see the real need for postal change are excited for the opportunity to change with the circumstances! I’m not willing to go down with a sinking ship that was thwarted in every effort to change. I will be a positive part of aggressive efforts to re-make the USPS great again. And I believe that eliminating sat delivery works in many many aspects. Staying the same isn’t working.

    • CoughCough

      Saturday sick calls may diminish but you can be certain that Monday sick calls will grow exponentially. When will you make all your appointments now? It wouldn’t be the worst day of the week now would it? I’ll be making all of scheduled sick days the day after a holiday as will many other carriers.

      • L Kosko

        Wow! I wonder how all those Americans who work Monday thru Friday all along can handle that? I bet they all hate spending weekends off cause they can’t make a simple appointment. Tough on their families too I should think.

    • Joanne Schnell

      So use lwop or some other method to get saturdaya off. Cutting an entire day of service to improve your “quality of life” sorry. many people depend on the USPS for their quality of life and that includes saturday delivery.

  • doug

    i kosko you are right on


      sorry doug. Congress speaks we listen. That’s how it works. See you at the clock on Saturdays BUB

      • Leroy

        Im not sure what youre talking about. Congress has done nothing to stop the PMG with the 6 day service, Saturday no delivery of letters. Until Feb. it took an act of congress to stop 6 day delivery, Now it takes an act of congress to stop the Post Office with their Plan. Nothing has happened. We are going ahead with 5 Day delivery, 6 Day service. Have to admitt, Its a Brilliant Plan. Any one can still get any thing they want on Saturday.

  • king dois

    Must be l’enfant posting most of the blogs.

  • L Kosko

    To the guest that said his rural routes would be out till 8 if sat delivery was gone needs to realize that some routes in some cities will need to be adjusted to 5 day delivery volume. This is no reason not to make a much needed change in how the post office is run. All of us who want 5 day delivery Will Make It Work! The proper changes will be made and in some cases routes added to support these changes. And if routes are added that means more carriers and less potential layoff. If a 500 lb person looses 300 lbs he doesn’t continue to wear the same old clothes. He changes into new clothes that fit!

    • Guest

      Ok wait a minute…. you believe going to 5 day delivery will add routes in offices? Are you insane? If that was the case, where’s the savings in eliminating Sat delivery to begin with? Tues-Fri the carrier earns 8 hour workload, but because the carrier workload is 14hours on Monday, they will add routes? Some how I doubt HQ would agree with you.

      • L Kosko

        Yes you are probably right. If the post office eliminates Saturday delivery there will absolutely not be any other changes that have to take pace. My bad.

  • Stealth fighter

    The basic question here is does the PMG have the authority to end the delivery of letters, flats and other mail types? The answer is no, that is for congress to decide not the PMG, regardless of how long it takes congress to decide. Congress then bares the burden of the American voter on Election Day, unlike the PMG who just retires with a golden parachute if the service to individuals and businesses is damaged significantly.

    • leroy

      5 day is much better than NO day.

      • l kosko

        Yes indeed! I don’t want to be another Hostess.

        • no rush

          Oh, I think you’d make a cute little Hostess!

      • no rush

        Well, so is 3 day right? And that would save even more money, wouldn’t it? And you’d have even more free time! A lot less money, of course, but you’re willing to give up money, and possibly your job if the PMG says so, right?

  • a concerned letter carrier

    to all of you 5 day lovers first of all i hope you realize that you cant add for whatever your worhtless minds arebecause if you had an ounce of brain you would have figured it out that you are already working 5 days a week you have one day off during the week and sunday so just because you aint off very saturday does not mean you are working 6 days a week that being said and done bill was signed sealed and delivered so get over it.. Now the to explain the 15 billion thats owed to treasury i would say we are even since they need to return the overpayment cash from the paea funding i would say they keep it and we are out of debt for that money.. Now the last and foremost important matter that you 5 day lovers like i hope you all are very high above the T6’s in your office if not have fun being bumped down to whatever is open after all the T6’s are reassigned to a route some of you dont realize that you can end up being an unassigned carrier when that happens and caan be forced to work the saturdays that are open because i would be surprised if a postmaster will have unassigned carriers sitting around getting paid while cca’s are out delivering so for future references if you want saturdays off thaat bad resign give up ur pay and benefits that you love so much and sit home collect your pension if you can’t afford to hey there’s always walmart or barber college…….new career for you

  • adavids

    5 day all the way

  • John

    Bernie Sanders = union puppet

  • Just my opnion

    Can’t wait to go to no Saturday delivery. If we don’t do something we are gonna go under people. Yeah Mondays may be a little heavier but I’m willing to work a little harder in order to have Saturdays off with my husband and kids. Yeah call me selfish or whatever but I think the ones that are getting all that overtime that want to keep delivering Saturdays for that purpose are selfish. You all work the Saturdays….. I wanna be normal working mon through fri!! Oh and it would be different if you didn’t had to fight for Saturdays off. Right now in my office all Saturdays are taken from now until the middle of August. So if you want a Saturday it’s a big ring ring….. Call in sick. Mr. Sanders you can deliver the Saturday mail:)

    • l kosko

      Wow you said it perfectly. I wish the union would wise up to what the vast majority of its members want.

      • no rush

        Hey that’s funny! So the vast majority want to eliminate Saturday delivery? So why do they keep voting for people like Rolando? And why do they still belong to the union? And how is it that the “vast majority” aren’t out demonstrating in favor of Donahoe and Issa? All the demonstrations last weekend seemed to be people who back the union, not management.

        How can that be?

        • L Kosko

          Well you may want to walk around your station and find out how many workers don’t want sat delivery. It is possible to vote for a president and not support all their decisions or policies. Or do you follow blindly? Have the union organize a pro Saturday off rally and let the numbers speak for themselves

          • no rush

            “It is possible to vote for a president and not support all their decisions or policies”

            Ummm… OK, perfectly reasonable. So apparently despite all this talk about letter carriers backing management’s plans for 5 day delivery, they don’t care about it enough to vote for someone who would support it? So it’s not really that important to them, eh? Thanks for clearing that up!

  • Skippie

    Those who wants to keep 6 day delivery are the OT hounds living off overtime. As has been stated many times all those living over their heads need to get their finances in order. If you want to work 6 days a week then go to Walmart and work weekends while the majority of Postal Workers look forward to having weekends off.

    • L Kosko

      Amen skip

  • Mark Fletcher

    I understand why all the regular carriers would like 5 day delivery. However there are 10’s of thousands of people who would like to keep their jobs. Don’t be selfish. keep sat. delivery.