USPS Plans To Reduce Work Force, Close Mail Processing Plants

By Andrea Salazar

The U.S. Postal Service will seek to reduce its workforce by up to 35,000 positions over the next 3 years and shrink its network of mail processing facilities to less than 200 by 2013, according to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

Donahoe and Megan Brennan, chief operating officer and executive vice president, outlined their plans Wednesday to reduce total costs by $20 billion by 2015.

“We have to meet this goal to return to profitability, ” Donahoe said. “What we will announce this morning helps us get part of the way there. [It] will help to create a low cost delivery platform that we need to serve our customers and to best meet the obligations to the American public.”
Brennan expects to achieve the workforce reduction through attrition, since the USPS has 150,000 employees who could retire today. Other changes will include restructuring the First-Class Mail service to a 2-3 day standard, a change motivated by a 25 percent decline in First-Class Mail usage.
Of the 487 operating mail processing facilities, Brennan said the postal service will begin reviewing an additional 252 of them for potential closure, a process she said could take up to three months.
“It is expected that the studies will take three months from today to complete,” Brennan said. “It’s an aggressive plan, but it will put us ahead of the cost curve for the next decade.”Donahoe and Brennan emphasized that residential customers will not see a significant impact at the post office or in delivery as these changes are implemented.“The postal service is still a critical part of the American economy,” Donahoe said. “We’re not going out of business. What we’re trying to do is get our finances in order so that we can stay out there in business and provide excellent service for a long, long time to come.”

Originally for Talk Radio News Service.

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