The Israel Postal Service plans to start cutting the hours of operation at some of its post offices across the country.
The plan, to be implemented in the next two weeks, is aimed at streamlining the service at 142 of the system’s 600 branches.
Three days a week, those branches will close at 6 pm instead of 8 pm, and will be completely closed on Friday – the only morning many Israelis don’t have to work, other than Shabbat.
In the next two weeks, 52 of the branches will start the new hours; the rest will follow later.
The postal service already requires anyone using its services to make an appointment prior to arrival at the branch.
The Israel Postal Service is currently operating at an annual loss of approximately NIS 250 million, according to the Israel Financial Insider (IFI) website.
The company signed recovery agreements with the Finance Ministry about a month ago that will see the retirement of 1,000 employees – 20 percent of its postal workers – in exchange for government financing and a collective agreement for its workers.
The service plans to launch customer service on WhatsApp and says it will increase the number of package delivery points outside its branches.
“The reform of the Israel Post is finally underway, in a process that is carried out with complete transparency and ongoing dialogue with the heads of the settlements and with the public,” the Israel Postal Service said in a statement.
“As part of the changes, adjustments are being made these days to the way the post operates, after decades in which it was not adjusted to the needs of the public and the changed market for letters and packages, and in some postal units there will no longer be public reception on Fridays.
“In hundreds of postal units throughout the country, the activity on Fridays will continue as usual, along with hundreds of small businesses where packages can be collected.
“Therefore, it is recommended to keep up to date with the postal application or the postal website regarding the operating hours of the various units.”
At the same time, “many resources are being invested in order to save the public the need to go to the branch to perform operations and receive service,” the Postal Service added. “Already today many services can be received in the Israel Post application or on the website.”