When Workers Turn Out, We Win!
(This article first appeared in the January-February 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
By Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard
We know that when workers are actively engaged in the political process, we win.
We witnessed it in Virginia’s governor’s race in November, when a corporate lobbyist was soundly defeated by the now Governor-elect who opposes Right-to-Work (for less) legislation and helped prevent the law from being enshrined in the state's constitution in 2016.
We witnessed it in New Jersey, where labor ran up the score by voting in 43 rank-and-file union members to elected positions across the state.
With momentum on our side, it is time for APWU members to turn their attention to the 2018 midterm elections.
On Nov. 6, 2018 we have the opportunity to reshape our nation by electing representatives (local, state and federal) who will fight for worker rights and believe in a viable public Postal Service. All 435 seats in the House, 3 seats in the Senate, and 36 governorships will be on the ballot. Several states, including Missouri, may also have ballot initiatives to undo Right-to-Work (RTW) laws. When union members – and the communities that support them – not only vote but are politically active, we have a proven track record of winning!
Be Seen, Be Heard, and Vote!
Let’s start the year with a union resolution to take the pledge to Be Seen, Be Heard, and Vote! When union members and the communities who support the work- ing class are organized, educated and active, we win.
Please sign the pledge online at bit.ly/2ABFKjb. For assistance, call 202-842-4211. Those who sign thepledge will be contacted with updates on events they can participate in such as, phone banking, door-knocking, rallies, congressional office visits, etc.
Following the success of the Legislative Conference held in October, where members left excited about the power they have to enact change at the local, state and national level, the Legislative & Political Department will be hosting additional conferences in the field to prepare our members to do the workthat needs to be done in 2018.
The Postal Service Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 756) – Solves the disastrous postal pre-fund mandate. The APWU supports this bill moving through the legislative process – it has advanced to the House Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means Committees.
Postal Service Financial Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 760) – Allows USPS to invest a portion of the Retiree Health Benefit Fund to better match medical inflation and significantly reduce future liabilities.
Medicare For All (H.R. 676 & S. 1804) – Ensures universal access to high-quality affordable health care for all Americans, regardless of employment, income, or health care status.
Vote by Mail Act (S. 1231 & H.R. 2669) – Requires every state to provide registered voters the opportunity to vote by mail. By utilizing America’s most trusted government agency, voting by mail can reduce election-related expenses and is proven to increase voter participation.
Thrift Savings Plan Modernization Act (S. 873 & H.R. 3031) – Provides much needed flexibility to retiring postal workers, lifting the current restrictions and allowing them to make multiple, partial post-separation withdrawals from their TSP savings. The bill passed both chambers of Congress and was signed by President Trump on Nov. 22.
The Page Act (H.R. 3257) – Strips union representation and protections from new postal and federal employees, making them “at-will” employees, subject to discipline or termination at management’s discretion.