U.S. Postal Service Rallies Support for Cutting Saturday Service

USPS SaturdayThe United States Postal Service is going all out to convince the public that eliminating Saturday delivery is a good move.

As the nation's second-largest employer, the USPS has been cutting locations and jobs for several years. After losing $16 billion last year, the organization has announced the service reduction as an essential decision, saving $2 billion a year.

In the press release, Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe emphasizes "financial realities" and customer input to the decision:

"The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America's changing mailing habits. We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings."

On the USPS Facebook page, a key message is customer support: that 70% of Americans support the decision. This is reinforced in the press statement with a quotation by Donahoe:

"The American public understands the financial challenges of the Postal Service and supports these steps as a responsible and reasonable approach to improving our financial situation. The Postal Service has a responsibility to take the steps necessary to return to long-term financial stability and ensure the continued affordability of the U.S. Mail."

However, the USPS is facing opposition. Congress still may block the move; some consider the service cut illegal. The employee union-the National Association of Letter Carriers-and the greeting card industry both oppose the elimination of Saturday delivery. The union president referred to the decision as "a disastrous idea that would have a profoundly negative effect on the Postal Service and on millions of customers."

Staying ahead of the controversy, the USPS also posted a fact sheet about the new schedule. The sheet clarifies important information for customers, for example, that packages still will be delivered on Saturday
Discussion Starters:

  • Read the USPS fact sheet. Which are the strongest and weakest arguments?
  • What do you notice about the headings in the fact sheet? How can they be improved?
  • In the press release, the CEO could use more natural language. Rewrite the quotations for a broader audience.