The U.S. Postal Service on Friday said it is considering laying off some 120,000 employees, about 21 percent of its work force, as it faces a second year of losses totaling more than $8 billion.
The USPS also wants to take its workers out of federal retirement and benefits plans because it faces a likely default on payments in September, according to a report in The Washington Post.
The proposed actions, which would take back agreements with postal unions, would mark the strongest moves yet to restructure USPS finances in the face of steep financial losses that have come with a dramatic downturn in mail demand. The USPS is reviewing 3,700 offices nationwide for possible closing because of decreased business, largely due to the growing popularity of e-mail and other Internet communications.
The USPS handled 1.1 million, or 2.6 percent, fewer pieces of mail in the fiscal third quarter ending June 30.
The proposed cuts would remove collective bargaining restrictions and require congressional approval. The USPS says it needs to cut some 220,000 jobs overall by 2015, but about 100,000 of those would come from attrition.