SEATTLE The U.S. Postal Service announced Thursday that it is now $3.5 billion in the red for the third quarter and it might miss a required payment for future retiree health benefits. That's one reason why the USPS wants to cut Saturday service and why postal workers are protesting.

Cutting Saturday delivery would eliminate more than 50,000 jobs and could save taxpayers $2 billion per year.

We would need fewer employees. We would have fewer vehicles on the street. So, it would be a significant savings, said Postal Service spokesman Ernie Swanson.

The National Association of Letter Carriers fears huge job losses. Locally, it could mean the elimination of 200 to 300 jobs in King County.

We would lose our competitive advantage, the service would lose its competitive advantage in the marketplace by giving up a day of delivery, said Rick Horner with the National Association of Letter Carriers

The Postal Service says the job losses will come through attrition, so layoffs would be minimal. The Saturday cuts would only eliminate mail delivery and not affect people mailing out on Saturdays.

The Postal Service will make the official request to Congress this fall.

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