The U.S. Postal Service last week ratified a two-year contract extension with the National Postal Mail Handlers Union. The action results in a 1.3% wage increase for 58,000 postal employees, effective Nov. 27, 2004, and another 1.3% increase beginning Nov. 26, 2005. The contract provides for the continuance of employees’ cost-of-living allowance and the establishment of a joint task force to discuss issues relating to repositioning employees. Otherwise, all terms of the existing contract remain the same.