Changed My Mind
(This article first appeared in the March-April 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
The following is a reprint of a column by APWU of Wisconsin President Steve Lord that ran in the November-December 2017 issue of The Badger Bulletin. On Jan. 3, Lord retired after a 41-year postal career, serving as APWU of Wisconsin president for the past 12 years. Prior to that, he was APWU of Wisconsin’s Legislative & Political Director for four years, Oshkosh Area Local President for 14 years and Oshkosh Area Local Vice President for ﬁve years. Lord became an active APWU member in 1978.
So, I haven’t changed my mind about retiring. I only have 50 days left at the USPS and a few months as State President but, I have changed my mind about a few other things. One of the things I have changed my mind about is term limits for our elected U.S. representatives.
How much longer will we put up with a bought and paid for Congress and Senate? How much longer will we put up with a Congress that does absolutely nothing to help working and middle-class Americans?
Corporate wealth and billionaire individuals have bought our government and are having their way with our democratic system. I used to be ﬁrmly in the camp against term limits but not any longer. The latest tax bill is another slap in the face. Calling it the Jobs Act is a joke. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act will line the pockets of the rich and cut deductions for the middle-class and will increase the deﬁcit by 1.5 trillion dollars.
Maybe term limits would give us legislators that aren’t beholding to the rich and powerful. I am willing to see if it will work. Something has to be done. Another thing that I used to think was a bad idea is forming a labor party. I used to think that a Labor Party would be too divisive and hand easy victories to the Republican Party but, labor is so taken for granted that Democrats count on us at election time then ignore us at legislation time. They think, where else will we go? What else will we do? Form our own party that is what. Other countries do it. Coalitions are formed.
Labor’s wants and needs would have to be addressed. True change in our government is needed. The other thing I have changed my mind about is Right-to-Work Laws. One state after another passes Right-to- Work legislation calling it a worker’s choice bill instead of what it is, a wage reduction bill. So when I say I have changed my mind about the legislation, I guess what I mean is that I have changed my mind about how to ﬁght it.
When legislators introduce these bills as workers’ rights bills we need to say, if you want to make it easy for workers to quit or not join a union let’s make it equally as easy to join and form unions. If you want to call it a workers’ rights bill, let’s truly make it that and see who prevails. Our government is broken and needs to be ﬁxed soon. Wise up! Rise up!