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It's Not Too Late

Join the Battle to Save America's Postal Service!

03/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the March-April 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

The time to act is now! On Nov. 14, 2014, our national day of action, we had protests at 150 sites and at least one activity in every state. It was one of our biggest turnouts. We appreciate those who stood on the front lines and spoke out against management policies that are destroying our communities, our jobs, and the Postal Service.

Contract Negotiations:

Our Members Expect Change

03/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the March-April 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Editor's Note: Below are excerpts from President Dimondstein's opening statement at contract negotiations.

The American Postal Workers Union welcomes this opportunity to represent approximately 200,000 postal workers in these important negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.

Few in this room were postal employees during the days of “collective begging.” But we know the history: Forty-five years ago, the unions representing postal workers had no authority to negotiate over wages, benefits and conditions of employment. Instead, postal workers’ livelihoods were subject to the whims of politicians. Many postal workers qualified for public assistance.

Today – since the advent of true collective bargaining, which was gained as a result of the postal strike in 1970 – postal workers’ lives are vastly improved. And representatives of our union today sit across the bargaining table from management as equals – not because we have important titles – but because we have a union sustained and supported by our members.

A Tale of Two Post Offices

03/01/2015 - A battle is raging for the heart and soul of the U.S. postal service. After the American Revolution, leaders of the new government realized that the post office could play a crucial role in forging a democratic society. They believed that equal and affordable access to correspondence and publications would foster great debate and build the informed citizenry needed to promote prosperity and progress.

They also believed a federal post office could bind together the fledgling nation.

The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 outlined the Postal Service’s mission: to bind the nation together while offering satisfying careers and opportunities for advancement to all employees.

This vision of the Postal Service as a pillar of American democracy and family-wage jobs for its citizens has been slowly eroded by a competing vision of the Postal Service – one that views the USPS as a business that operates on market principles; where corporate private interests “advise” the Postal Service, and where the American public and American workers are secondary to the financial interests of major mailers.

A Grievance Procedure That Works for You

03/01/2015 - With contract negotiations underway, the APWU negotiating team, like you, is concerned about the future of the Postal Service and the thousands of members we represent.

We are troubled by the Postal Service’s plans to close plants and consolidate facilities, and by the cuts in service management has already implemented. As we have stated in articles, media interviews, at rallies and in the halls of Congress: We believe management’s cut-to-survive strategy is a way of shutting the door on true service to the American public. Every cut the Postal Service makes is also an attack on postal employees.

We must fight hard to defend our rights at the bargaining table, and we must fight to make sure management provides the rights and benefits we have already secured in our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The provisions of our contract have been violated at every level by managers who rarely admit they did anything wrong until an arbitrator or judge forces them to reverse their policy and face the consequences – often by the payment of large settlements.

Social-Movement Unionism: A Much-Needed New Model

03/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the March-April 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Unions were formed to defend workers and secure for them a share of the wealth they create. There have been labor unions in the U.S. since colonial times, working for that very purpose. Deriving their power from organized people and organized money, many unions have been able to successfully fight for the workers they represent. Unions have also achieved success when they united with others outside the workplace, to fight for social and economic justice.

Unions have always had to move beyond their narrow work issues. Grievances about overtime, breaks, holidays, and staffing are workplace fights. On the other hand, concerns such as racial discrimination, public education, voting rights, women’s issues, child labor, minimum wage, Social Security and unemployment insurance, have been taken on by unions because these societal issues affect their members, families and neighbors. 
Workers do not live in a vacuum, we live in communities. When services are cut, roads and bridges start to crumble, schools lack sufficient funding, and family and friends are denied fundamental rights. These issues also affect postal workers.

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert

Alliance Joins House Members to Protect Social Security Disability Insurance

02/27/2015 - On Wednesday, the Alliance joined Democratic Representatives Xavier Becerra (CA), Sander Levin (MI), Jan Schakowsky (IL), and Doris Matsui (CA), and allies in speaking out on a tele-press conference call focused on protecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which has come under attack by House Republicans since the new Congress convened. The call came in conjunction with a hearing by the House Ways and Means Committee.

e-Team Report, Feb. 26, 2015

02/26/2015 - Republicans in Wisconsin are attempting to rush so-called “Right to Work” legislation through the state Senate. Just days ago, Governor Scott Walker stated he would sign such legislation if it reaches his desk, a stark reversal from his campaign promise not to support right to work legislation – a move Politifact calls a full Flip-Flop.