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Post Office to Reduce Service, Cut Construction

December 24, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Many post offices will be closed for at least the next two Saturdays and new construction projects will be cut by half as part of a package of budget-cutting measures, the U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday.

Saturday mail delivery will continue, but as many as half of the nation's post offices will be closed this Saturday and Jan. 2, Postmaster General Preston R. Tisch said. In addition, service could be further reduced with closings of as much as one half-day each week, he said.

The cuts were required by federal deficit-cutting legislation enacted Tuesday that Tisch contended put an unnecessary burden on the postal agency.

Cuts in Customer Service

Requirements in the bill specifying where spending reductions must be made force the agency to cut both customer service and capital spending, he said.

Had the Postal Service been given the freedom to manage its own budget, Tisch said, the spending cut "could have been accomplished with a great deal less pain and dislocation . . . ."

The federal budget bill requires the Postal Service to reduce its spending by $1.25 billion over the next 21 months.

Michael Coughlin, the deputy postmaster general, said that service-cut decisions will be left to local managers as much as possible, including cuts in staff hours. Initially, staff cuts probably will involve part-time workers, he said.

Locations to Be Announced

Post offices to be closed this Saturday and Jan. 2 are still being determined and will be announced locally, officials said.

Other cutbacks in retail mail service also are under consideration, possibly including shorter window hours at many post offices.

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