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Hunter Martin, left, a 9-year-old from Grants Pass, joined protesters outside the Medford Post Office on Wednesday. The informational picketing was part of a national effort to publicize a breakdown in contract talks between the National Association of Letter Carriers and the U.S. Postal Service. Federal law prohibits letter carriers from striking; they have been working without a contract since November. The dispute will be settled in binding arbitration. Letter carriers are calling for pay increases, claiming they should share in the benefits of the service's recent success. Automation has allowed the Postal Service to flourish in the '90s, with more than $5 billion in profits in the last four years, said Denise Brooks, president of the union's Medford branch. But the job of letter carriers has gotten tougher.

Just so you'll know