The U.S. Postal Service began contract negotiations with the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association on Aug. 25.
NRLCA has more than 66,000 career employees who deliver mail to residences and business on rural delivery routes. There are also approximately 50,000 part time relief rural carriers.
Contracts with four of the association’s biggest unions began this month.
On Aug. 21, negotiations began with the National Postal Mail Handlers Union. Today (Aug. 28) negotiations will begin with the National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO, and on Aug. 29, negotiations with the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO begin.
All contracts expire at midnight Nov. 20.
The USPS said this is the first time the agency has negotiated new contracts with all these unions at the same time.
Direct marketers are watching the negotiations closely because labor costs account for about 80 percent of the agency’s expenses.
The USPS employs more than 676,000 bargaining unit employees, with APWU, NALC, NRLCA and NPMHU accounting for more than 99.5 of them.