WASHINGTON – The U.S. Postal Service today announced that it will propose cutting Saturday mail delivery as a way to trim its large budget shortfalls. It also proposes to reduce overtime and to cut its workforce by about 30,000. Senator Susan Collins, R-Me., Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has oversight of the U.S. Postal Service, issued the following statement:

“The Postal Service is the only financially troubled business I know that would focus on cutting service rather than on trying to serve its customers better. The Postal Service needs to increase its volume and attract more customers. It cannot expect to gain more business if it is reducing service.

“The Postal Service is the lynchpin of a $900 billion mailing industry, providing nine million jobs nationwide. Given its critical role in our economy, the Postal Service should do everything it can to develop new revenue streams, to become more competitive and to improve services for both individual and business customers.

“I am concerned that cutting delivery days could force businesses to seek alternatives for their communication needs. Such a migration of customers will only increase the erosion in the Postal Service’s shrinking mail volume, which will prompt greater postage rate hikes and renew calls for even more truncated delivery services. It is a vicious cycle that will only exacerbate the Postal Service’s dire financial problems. We must break this death spiral.

“Despite the relief Congress provided to the Postal Service in 2003, 2006 and 2009, it is seeking to wish away more of its liabilities. It also has been slow to take advantage of the tools provided in the 2006 reform act to improve its financial situation. It also is clear that the USPS must continue to address its workforce-related costs, which account for about 80 percent of its total costs.”