A joint team of Finance Ministry, Communications Ministry and Israel Postal Company officials will meet soon to discuss the future of the government company after its 7,000 workers applied sanctions to protest the government's decision not to lower the rates of bulk mail, which would allow the company to be competitive with private businesses that will be able to deliver such mail beginning this summer. The workers' union has not yet decided whether to cut short the sanctions, which have closed large postal branches at 3:30 p.m. and smaller ones at 1:30 p.m. and halted the delivery of all diplomatic mail. Union chief Reuven Karazi said Wednesday that he wants to see the government decision in writing and will have to consult his colleagues before deciding whether to cancel the sanctions. The Israel Postal Company's management welcomed the decision by Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson, Communications Minister Ariel Attias, Postal Company Chairman Ya'acov Edri and Postal Company Director-General Avi Hochman to hold discussions on the company's future and how it will compete with the private sector when its monopoly status relating to certain services comes to an end. The Postal Company complains that not only is it bound to provide universal postal services throughout the country, but that the government controls its rates schedule and development plans too rigidly. Hirchson said he wanted to receive all the relevant information "as a package" so he and colleagues in the two ministries could present an equitable rates schedule and terms for the company's new license. New rates are due to come into effect in July. Hochman said that the company has invested much effort in building a business plan that would ensure a balanced budget and its long-term financial strength.