Department & Division News

'A Woman's Place is in Her Union!'

APWU POWER Convention Donates Over $23,000 to COPA

Front row: new POWER Coordinators Bernadette Baker, Tanya Jackson,
Michelle Boulware, Erica Cole, and Darcy Wood.
Back row: Secretary-Treasurer Liz Powell,
Research & Education Director Joyce Robinson,
President Mark Dimondstein,
and Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy.

(This article first appeared in the November-December 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Research & Education Director Joyce Robinson

'A Woman’s Place Is in Her Union!” was the theme that kicked off the Post Office Women for Equal Rights (POWER) 18th Biennial National Convention in Baltimore, MD.

Workshops offered included: Express Yourself; You are Out of Order; Living on a Budget; Stepping Up and Stepping Out; and You’re Getting on My Nerves. Participants received an abundance of information to share with their locals and states.


The Honorable Catherine Pugh, Mayor of the City of Baltimore, gave a heartfelt welcome address. She spoke of the struggles and difficulties that women in public office have to overcome and commended APWU POWER for speaking out on women’s issues. She said it’s important that we acknowledge, support and respect all women and try to uplift each other.

The convention keynote speaker was Donna S. Edwards, President of Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO. She stated that women are born leaders who have learned to work together. She spoke about executive orders being adopted that violate both women’s and workers’ rights, and stated this country is being pushed backwards.

She encouraged women to get involved in the political process, to run for local, city, county and state offices, and to pay close attention to legislation being introduced in the Congress and Senate. Edwards ended by reminding the delegates that when our union is directly connected to our members' needs, then we can ask them to support credible politicians.

The Eastern Region reclaimed the COPA Award, contributing a whopping $6,287.50, leaving the other regions behind in the dust. Other region totals were: Western $3,255.10; Southern $3,217.00; Central $2,730.00 and Northeast $2,645.00. Contributions from the sale of other items were $4,873.60, making APWU POWER’s grand total $23,008.20.

National APWU awards presented were: The Elizabeth “Liz” Powell Executive Award to Elizabeth “Liz” Swigert (NBA), the Joyce B. Robinson Leadership Award to Rachel Walthall (NBA) and the Nilda Chock Pioneer Award to Margaret glass (Houston Area Local).

In addition, outgoing POWER Coordinators received awards and the POWER Coordinator’s Award went to Linda Terry, Northeast Region.

During the Installation Dinner, President Mark Dimondstein addressed the delegates. He recognized first time attendees and women delegates under 35 years old. He stated that today there is a war on workers and made reference to the recent victory over Staples and the battles that workers face today, saluting everyone on the front line.

President Dimondstein spoke about the need to be involved in issues affecting postal workers and talked about the upcoming contract negotiations, the Campaign for Postal Banking and A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service. He encouraged members to continue to be diligent and persistent as we fight for good postal jobs and benefits. Following his remarks, he installed the newly-elected APWU POWER Coordinators and Alternates.

The newly-elected APWU POWER Coordinators are:

Darcy A. Wood, Central Region,
Michelle Boulware, Eastern Region,
Tanya D. Jackson, Northeast Region,
Bernadette Baker, Southern Region,
Erica Cole, Western Region,

APWU POWER encourages members to donate a check or money order payable to “Sisters Helping Sisters” to aid postal employees devastated by recent disasters. Mail to APWU, Attention: Joyce Robinson, 1300 L St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005. It’s important to help our postal family!