The agency says it needs to reduce its overall processing, delivery and customer service workforce of 574,000 full-time workers by roughly 150,000, and it expects to do so by providing retirement incentives, as opposed to by conducting layoffs.
Last week, the service announced that it would reduce the hours at tens of thousands of post offices as opposed to closing them.
However, Senator Thomas R. Carper, Democrat of Delaware and a host of a postal reform bill, said the closings and decrease in hours didn’t go far enough.
“Given these dire conditions, it should not come as a surprise that the postmaster general is moving ahead to reduce prices with the limited tools at his disposal,” Mr. Carper said in a statement, “but the truth is that attempts of this scale aren’t enough to fundamentally correct the Postal Service’s fiscal issues.”
A coalition of mailing business groups supported the Postal Service’s plan to shrink its mailing system.
“It is a terrible plan that isn’t going to save money and drive away customers,” said Sally Davidow, a spokeswoman for the union.
WASHINGTON — The United States Postal Service said Wednesday that it would keep tens of thousands of small post offices open by decreasing business hours or offering packaging and stamps in grocery stores, whittling down its ambitious strategy to streamline its services and balance its own books by shutting thousands of post offices.
Giving Congress more time to pass legislation to overhaul the financially struggling agency, the agency held back from the wholesale closings of largely rural post offices which it had suggested last year. The Postal Service’s expectation is that Congress, given more time, will think of a plan to overhaul the agency. However, Wednesday’s action suggests the Postal Service should proceed with staffing cuts.
Patrick R. Donahoe, the postmaster general, said the latest plan would require two years to put into effect and could save approximately $500 million per year.