Postal Service Says 5% of Workers Intend to Leave Early

About 5 percent of the U.S. Postal Service’s 525,000 employees tentatively accepted an offer to leave as the agency tries to cut costs.

About 26,000 workers indicated they will take the offer of $15,000 apiece to retire early, and an additional 352 are resigning, Mark Saunders, a Postal Service spokesman, said today in an e-mail. The service, which lost $15.9 billion last year, is trying to cut costs so it can keep paying its employees and deliver mail.

The service won’t know until March 4 how many of its employees take the offer, Saunders said.

The service, based in Washington, in October offered the early-retirement incentives to American Postal Workers Union members who met age and years-of-service requirements. About 115,000 employees were eligible to take it, meaning about a fourth of them signed up.

The Postal Service has said it won’t have enough cash by October to make required payments. It’s seeking congressional action before that to allow it to make cuts such as ending Saturday mail delivery.

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