Aug. 29, 2006 – With the United States Postal Service on a financial upswing, its workers are looking to leave an era of concessions behind.
In negotiations that both sides hope to conclude well before current contracts expire on November 20, the four unions that represent over 99 percent of USPS workers are looking to win better wages, secure existing benefits packages, maintain job security and roll back the postal serviceâ€™s use of temporary and non-career positions. As of today, the talks will take place concurrently, increasing the unionsâ€™ chances of achieving their shared goals.
USPS has been doing well financially over the past couple of years. Last year, it netted 1.4 billion, according to a report by Hooverâ€™s, Inc., a financial information services company.
The unions contend that after years of accepting staff cuts and outsourcing agreements with FedEx, United Parcel Services and smaller companies that helped USPS bolster its bottom line, the Service is in a position to treat its workers better.
Postal officials have not commented publicly on contract talks, except to note that this is the first time USPS will be bargaining with all four unions at the same time Both sides say their relationship is good and do not expect negotiations to become contentious.
Two of the unions, National Rural Letter Carriersâ€™ Association and National Postal Mail Handlers Union, entered negotiations last week, and the other two, National Association of Letter Carriers and American Postal Workers Union, began negotiations yesterday and today, respectively.