03/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the March-April 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)
Editor's Note: Below are excerpts from President Dimondstein's opening statement at contract negotiations.
The American Postal Workers Union welcomes this opportunity to represent approximately 200,000 postal workers in these important negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.
Few in this room were postal employees during the days of “collective begging.” But we know the history: Forty-five years ago, the unions representing postal workers had no authority to negotiate over wages, benefits and conditions of employment. Instead, postal workers’ livelihoods were subject to the whims of politicians. Many postal workers qualified for public assistance.
Today – since the advent of true collective bargaining, which was gained as a result of the postal strike in 1970 – postal workers’ lives are vastly improved. And representatives of our union today sit across the bargaining table from management as equals – not because we have important titles – but because we have a union sustained and supported by our members.