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POSTAL SERVICE, CARRIERS REACH ACCORD

An arbitration board announced Sunday that the U.S. Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers had reached agreement on a three-year contract that includes wage and health benefit increases for 240,000 letter carriers, the Postal Service said.

The agreement, retroactive to last Nov. 20, when the old contract expired, runs through Nov. 20, 2001, the service said in a statement.

It includes general wage increases of up to 2 percent plus cost-of-living adjustments and an increase in the postal service's share of health benefit contributions.

The Postal Service had reached an earlier agreement with two of its largest unions, the 361,000-member American Postal Workers Union, and the 61,000-member National Postal Mail Handlers Union.

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