Longtime union mailing house in Roseville closes shop

Accurate Mailing’s longtime operator John Vermeer prepared the Union Advocate’s February edition for mailing with help from April O’Keeffe (L) and Andrea Adair.

Accurate Mailing closed shop for good last week after more than 25 years in business. It was one of the few Twin Cities mailing houses with a union bug.

Accurate’s last job: labeling, sorting and preparing 30,000 copies of The Saint Paul Union Advocate for delivery by the U.S. Postal Service.

Owner-operator John Vermeer and two crewmembers, Andrea Adair and April O’Keeffe, handled the job Feb. 1, their work interrupted occasionally by people hauling equipment and machinery out of the Roseville shop.

Vermeer, a longtime member of Teamsters Local 120, opened Accurate Mailing as a union shop in 1992, after quitting his job at Midwest Printing. Accurate specialized in folding, inserting, addressing, tabbing and other mail-related tasks, but among longtime clients and Postal Service employees, Accurate was best known for its friendly and reliable service.

“We know what we do, and we tried to give the customer as good of service as we could because without that, you don’t have anything,” Vermeer said.

Vermeer’s decision to close shop came after Accurate’s parent company was purchased by multinational printing giant Quebecor, a company that buys shops “for the work, but not the employees,” Vermeer said. “They shut us down.”

Upon learning Accurate was closing, Vermeer’s connections at the Postal Service surprised him with a bottle of Remy Martin as a token of their appreciation for his patience and professionalism over the years.

“I never gave them a hard time, and I always enjoyed working with them,” he said. “They were all pleasant people.”

Now, Vermeer heads into “total retirement,” he said. His only plans? Travel, enjoy life and try cognac for the first time.

“It was enjoyable working with different people, different unions,” he said. “I’m going to miss all the people I’d see and work with.”

Find a list of union printing and mailing shops at http://www.mnaflcio.org.

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