In its latest plan to save money, the U.S. Postal Service said it might just have to “make snail mail slower,” as the Washington Post puts it. Its latest proposal unveiled Thursday involves shutting down 252 mail processing facilities out of a total of 487, which would involve eliminating 35,000 positions. The closures would likely mean the end of overnight delivery for first-class mail as a letter would take two or three days to be delivered rather than one to three days, notes CNN.
“We are forced to face a new reality today,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement. “Maintaining a vast national infrastructure is no longer realistic.” The closings could save the Postal Service as much as $3 billion a year as it continues its effort to cut annual costs by $6.5 million.
Officials said that while commercial mailers could face an impact from the changes, individual customers probably wouldn’t notice the difference. Congress must approve any changes to mail delivery before they can be implemented, notes the Los Angeles Times. The American Postal Workers Union was harshly critical of the plan, insisting that “degrading service is not the answer to the Postal Service’s problems.”