WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service is backing off a previous plan to close thousands of post offices, and will instead cut hours at 13,000 rural facilities in an effort to save $500 million a year.
In response to a backlash against massive closures, the Postal Service said it Wednesday it will cut hours to between two hours and six hours a day at the targeted post offices.
In addition, the agency plans to force thousands of employees to shift to part-time hours from their current full-time positions.
"Any rural community that wants to retain a rural post office, we'll work with them to do that," said Patrick Donahoe, the postmaster general.
The new plan also includes buyout packages to be offered to 13,000 postmasters eligible for retirement in offices throughout the nation, not just in rural areas. The cash buyouts will run up to $20,000 over a two-year period.