US Postal Service making cut-backs

The slow economy and high gas prices have the US Postal Service looking to cut back. It recently announced it will offer voluntary early retirement to some employees. David Major has worked for the Postal Service for 11 years. He is still years away from retirement, but it's something on his mind. "I always say leave before the job leaves you," said Major. He has still got plenty left in him to continue his job as a clerk, but he says the recently announced early retirement option looks good. Major said, "It's appealing if I was prepared to go, I could just walk away and I won't lose anything." The early retirement is only available to clerks, mail handlers, and certain supervisors, not postmasters, carriers, or administrators. Major said, "There's some people, they're really right at where they need to be and based on economics, a lot of people really want to accept a package like this, but they're really trying to see where the economy is going." This new retirement plan is just one way the Postal Service is trying to save some money. Every time gas goes up by just one cent, it costs the Postal Service $8 million. The Postal Service is taking some big hits. Its mail volume has been down each year for the past five years, because of competition from automation and technological advances like e-mail. This year it ended its second quarter with a net loss of $707 million. Still, Major says he plans to be here for at least a few more years, then when his time comes, he'll look forward to an early retirement option. Details for the early retirement plan are still being worked out, but it will not include an extra incentive program.

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