Oﬃcers Share Information and Answer Members’ Questions at Tele-Town Hall
(This article first appeared in the March-April 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
During a country-wide Tele-Town Hall on Jan. 24, APWU National ofﬁcers discussed the unity required to be successful in our ﬁght for a good contract, with safe working conditions and the ability to provide a better standard of living for APWU members and families. A total of over 1,300 members participated in the two calls.
Ofﬁcers on the National Negotiation Committee (NNC) spoke, including President Mark Dimondstein, Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy, Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth “Liz” Powell, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman, Clerk Division Director Clint Burelson, Maintenance Division Director Steven Raymer and Motor Vehicle Service (MVS) Division Director Michael Foster (Director Foster was unavailable for the second call, so MVS Assistant Director Javier Piñeres spoke on his behalf).
Beforehand, the ofﬁcers reviewed over 850 questions submitted by members when they registered for the call. Some of the most frequently asked questions were summarized and answered during the call, either directly or within the ofﬁcers’ reports. There is still an opportunity to forward contract suggestions to 2018ContractNegotiations@apwu.org. Contract negotiation resolutions are currently being accepted for the 24th Biennial APWU National Convention in August.
Building Worker Power
The message during the call was clear: We need you to build worker power as we “Fight Today for a Better Tomorrow.” Two Contract Action Teams (CAT), which have already stepped up to join the fight, described activities and actions that took place during the 2015 Contract Campaign.
The Des Moines Area Local and the Oklahoma City Area Local spoke about how they are Fired Up! and Ready to Go! for the 2018 Contract Campaign. They discussed the good that their Contract Action Teams did in 2015 and expressed the importance of solidarity actions on the workroom ﬂoor.
President Dimondstein emphasized “the outcome of negotiations is not based on waving magic wands or wishful thinking, but on the relationship of forces and how much power and leverage can be exerted by either side.”
Ninety-eight percent of members on the call indicated that they would join the fight for a decent contract. Can we count on the rest of you as we face the serious challenges ahead? The NNC intends to use every resource available to achieive a fair contract for all APWU members.
Join a Contract Action Team Today!
Contract Action Teams (CATs) plan many different types of actions that build solidarity within the local and the entire union. Some actions include planning union gear days, passing out leaﬂets/ﬂyers, organizing and participating in informational pickets, spreading contract news to coworkers and reaching out to the community. Members can volunteer as little or as much as their schedules allow.
If you are a local/state president who has not formed a CAT, sign up forms are available on apwu.org. Just click on the Fighting Today for a Better Tomorrow Contract Campaign link. Send completed forms to firstname.lastname@example.org. Members should let their local/state presidents know that they are willing to join the fight!