Postal Service and mail handlers heading into mediation


For those keeping track of the three-ring show known as U.S. Postal Service labor negotiations, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union reports that a federally appointed mediator is now in place to help the two sides settle on a new contract. The mediation process can take 60 days; if it fails, the next step will likely be binding arbitration.

An impasse was declared in late January in the Postal Service’s contract talks with both the mail handlers union and the National Association of Letter Carriers. The NALC announced the appointment of a mediator last month. “We’re working hard,” President Fredric Rolando said in a statement today. “We’re committed to reaching an agreement through the mediation process.”

But the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association is already in arbitration. In an update posted earlier this month on its web site, the NRLCA reported that both sides had concluded their introductory cases before a three-member arbitration panel. As a matter of policy, USPS officials don’t publicly discuss labor negotiations. By the NRLCA’s telling, however, the Postal Service attempted to persuade the panel that its financial condition “requires dramatic actions to curb or reduce wages, COLA allowances, paid leave, health and other benefits that rural letter carriers and this union have worked hard to achieve.”


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  1. I beleive that all concerned employees should agree to a 2 year apy freeze. Also come on with the early outs veras. There are at least 50000 folks who would leave and it would be fairly easy to absorb their loss. Also when are we going to stop non-profit mailings this is a drain on our business also charge a fee for each and every peice of forwarded mail. lets start acting like a business.

  2. richard staddon on

    What is the sense of agreeing on a contract when the Postal Service will only violate it. I’m a member of the APWU and ever since the Postmaster General and our President, Cliff Guffy shook hands the service has not lived up to the contract.

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