The majority-state-owned Austria Post mail service is planning massive layoffs in the coming years, reducing its workforce from 25,800 to 9,000, local media reported Sunday, dpa reported.
In addition, as many as 1,000 of the country's 1,300 post offices would be closed.
According to the APA news agency, the company's board of directors is to discuss cost-cutting measures on Wednesday.
The board of directors is anticipating that the layoffs would make the enterprise more attractive for a complete privatization.
The Austrian state owns 51 per cent of Austrian Post, which in the first half of 2008 saw its revenues rise 7.3 per cent to 1.2 billion euros (1.5 billion dollars). At the same time, the company's earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) sank 3.6 per cent to 81.9 million euros.
Both the Social Democratic-led transportation ministry and the Finance Ministry led by the centre-right People's Party denied responsibility for the move.
Post workers union leader Gerhard Fritz spoke of a "declaration of war" by the board of directors.
According to the daily Kronenzeitung, the planned layoffs should be finalized by the end of 2009.