Many Hands Make Light Work
(This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)
By Organization Director Anna Smith
Sometimes it seems like we are our own worst enemy. When I first started my postal career there was always gloom and doom rhetoric going around the workroom floor. Talk that frankly scared the heck out of me. What I learned though, is that I don’t get to complain about what someone else isn’t doing for me if I’m not willing to step up to the plate and fight for myself.
One person or even a small group cannot carry all the weight. At some point, it will be more than they can carry. As the saying goes, many hands make light work – this holds true for our struggles. If each of us does one small task, it can make a difference.
This isn’t the time to stand on the sidelines. If you want to see changes, or perhaps just wish to maintain the benefits we currently enjoy, everyone must step up and get involved. This includes organizing our non-members and asking them to stand with us and get involved. They should understand that by choosing to remain a nonmember they are working not only against their best interest, but every one of us as well!
Ask yourself this: Would we willing to perform the same work we do each day, but for only 80 percent of current wages and benefits? This isn’t just a gloom-and-doom forecast, it is the reality we live in. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this year, “Nonunion workers had median weekly earnings that were 80 percent of earnings for workers who were union members.” You can be sure that the same politicians and corporations
who are pushing to privatize our U.S. Postal Service will also push to take away our union and our collective bargaining rights.
Don’t let your vision be blurred by a faulty expectation that someone else is going to do all the work in our contract fight. Everyone needs to get involved. Throughout our upcoming negotiations you may be called on to wear stickers, attend rallies, and to be actively involved in our effort to win a good contract. I encourage each of you to consider for a moment what you are capable of doing in the interest of your future, and that of your family, friends and co-workers.
Organizing Aids — Help Us Help You
The Organization Department supplies materials to all APWU locals and members in an effort to help organize the unorganized. For information about the resource materials available and the Material Order Form, please visit www.apwu.org under Department & Division/Organization.
You can mail your order to the Organization Department at APWU, 1300 L St NW, Washington, DC 20005. You can also email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax to 202-216-2639.
Orders are typically processed and shipped the same day and an email with tracking information will be provided to the recipient. If you would like a call to acknowledge receipt of an order, please state so on the fax cover sheet or in voice message. All orders and messages should include the below information for prompt service:
Full name and title
What’s working and not working?
The Organizing Department is looking to compile a list of what locals and members are doing in their efforts to organize our coworkers. If you have something that’s working well, let’s share it. If you have had some stumbling blocks, or have found some techniques that just aren’t working, we want to hear those as well. Please take a moment to either write or email the department with details and we'll be looking to include those responses in upcoming issues of the magazine.