WASHINGTON – The U.S. Postal Service begins contract negotiations today with the largest of its four unions, the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO (APWU). 

The APWU represents employees who work as clerks, mechanics, vehicle drivers, custodians and some administrative positions. The current contract expires midnight, Nov. 20.

“We have worked successfully with our unions in the past to help transform the Postal Service and we hope to maintain this momentum during these negotiations,” said Anthony Vegliante, Chief Human Resources Officer and executive vice president. “Our goal is to negotiate a contract that’s fair to our customers, fair to our employees and meets our financial and operational needs.” 

Three other unions represent most other postal employees. Employees represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO (NALC) deliver in metropolitan areas; National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA) employees deliver primarily in rural and suburban areas; and, employees represented by the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, AFL-CIO (NPMHU) work in mail processing plants and Post Offices. 

Union               Employees         Contract Expiration
APWU               211,000              midnight, Nov. 20, 2010
NALC               207,000               midnight, Nov. 20, 2011
NRLCA            67,000 career 
                       48,000 non-career   midnight, Nov. 20, 2010
NPMHU          49,000                    midnight, Nov. 20, 2011
Contract negotiations for the NRLCA begin September 13. The NALC and NPMHU begin negotiations next year approximately 90-days prior to the contract expiration date.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. 

For additional background information on labor negotiations and the Postal Service's workforce, please click on these links: Labor Negotiations and Workforce.