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Reuters, Published April 10 2013

US Postal Service will keep Saturday delivery

WASHINGTON - The financially strapped U.S. Postal Service will keep delivering first-class mail on Saturday because Congress has left it no choice but to continue, the service's board of governors said on Wednesday.

The Postal Service, which lost $16 billion last year, said in February it wanted to switch to five-day mail delivery to save $2 billion annually. But Congress passed legislation in March that mandates that mail be delivered six days a week.

"The board believes that Congress has left it with no choice but to delay this implementation (of the curtailed delivery schedule) at this time," the board said in a statement.

The board said it had directed managers to seek to re-open negotiations with postal unions to lower total workforce costs.

The proposed schedule would have eliminated Saturday delivery of first-class mail starting during the week of Aug. 5, 2013.

Congress traditionally includes a provision in legislation to fund the federal government each year that has prevented the Postal Service from reducing delivery service. The Postal Service had asked Congress not to include the provision this time, but that request was denied.