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FedEx workers to get buyout offers

FedEx will offer some employees up to two years’ pay to leave as customers turn to less-expensive shipping plans.

Amy Sancetta/Associated Press/File 2012

FedEx will offer some employees up to two years’ pay to leave as customers turn to less-expensive shipping plans.

NEW YORK — FedEx said Tuesday that it will be offering some employees up to two years’ pay to leave the company, starting next year.

The voluntary program is part of an effort by the world’s second-biggest package delivery company to cut annual costs by $1.7 billion within three years.

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The restructuring is a response to a shift by customers away from premium package-delivery services and toward slower, less expensive modes as the global economy struggles to grow.

Employees who volunteer for the program will receive four weeks of pay for every year of service, capped at two full years of base pay. FedEx has said previously that the buyouts should reduce ‘‘fixed headcount by several thousand people.’’

Those eligible will be notified in February and have until­ April to apply. They will find out in May if they have been accepted.

The first wave of employees will leave on May 31, the last day of FedEx’s fiscal year.

Founder and CEO Fred Smith said in August that most of the cuts will come in the company’s Express and Services units, which have been hurt the most by global economic conditions.

A majority of those employees are in the United States.

Shares of FedEx rose 26 cents to $88.39 in trading Tuesday. UPS shares rose 77 cents to $73.04.

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