POWER: The APWU Women’s Committee
(This article first appeared in the July-August 2017 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)
By Research & Education Director Joyce Robinson
APWU POWER (Post Office Women for Equal Rights), the women’s committee within the American Postal Workers Union, was founded in St. Louis, Missouri on April 28, 1979 and incorporated into APWU’s National Constitution in Detroit, Michigan in August 1980. APWU POWER’s Steering Committee consists of five APWU POWER Coordinators, one from each region, who are elected at the Biennial National Convention and assist POWER committees at local and state levels.
In the United States, women make up nearly 50 percent of the workforce and approximately 48 percent of the USPS. Although women pay the same percentage of APWU dues, they hold fewer elected offices at the local, state and national levels. APWU POWER assists women in obtaining the knowledge and skills needed to level the playing field and has opened doors for women from across the country through educational seminars, workshops and regional conferences.
As a result, POWER sisters have become actively involved in their local and state unions and the political process. APWU POWER has donated over $150,000 to COPA (the union’s political action fund) and is one of APWU’s largest contributors.
APWU POWER’s involvement in community activities include:
- “Adopting” postal union families left homeless due to natural disasters;
- Making yearly monetary contributions to domestic violence agencies;
- Contributing Christmas gift bags to female troops unable to travel home for the holidays;
- Donating books, clothing, toiletries, etc. to schools, homeless shelters, and senior citizens’ homes;
- Donating to the Postal Employees Relief Fund (PERF) to aid postal families.
‘Sisters Helping Sisters Fund’
APWU POWER’s “Sisters Helping Sisters Fund” was established in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina to help women and children who were left homeless due to the disaster.
It was expanded in 2006 to give hope and encouragement to women and children in homeless shelters, fleeing domestic violence. The program is funded by donations received from postal workers. Since its inception, the fund has donated over $56,000 to families, charities, and domestic violence agencies, including $15,000 to the Postal Employees Relief Fund.
Attend APWU POWER’s 18th Biennial National Convention
When: Thursday, Aug. 24 through Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. Delegates should arrive on Wednesday, Aug. 23 and depart on Sunday, Aug. 27. Workshops will be held on Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Regional Caucuses are on Thursday, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor, 300 Light Street, Baltimore, MD. Contact the hotel directly at 410-528-1234 or toll-free at 800-233-1234 for reservations. To secure the negotiated rate of $140 per night (single/double occupancy) plus 15.5 percent tax, identify yourself as attending the POWER Convention and register by Friday, July 14, 2017.
Register Online: Delegates must register themselves online at www.apwu.org/events/category/national-events by clicking on APWU POWER 18th Biennial National Convention. The registration fee is $100 for delegates and $100 for each guest, which includes an Installation Dinner and a Reception. To register a guest, contact Joyce B. Robinson at 202-842-4225 prior to the Friday, August 11, 2017 deadline. Click here to view the POWER Convention Flyer.
To obtain additional information about APWU POWER, contact the Research and Education Department at 202-842-4225 or the APWU POWER coordinator in your region: