‘Most Dishonest Campaign Ever’
Convention News Bulletin #04-12, Aug. 23, 2012 | PDF
Ed Schultz, host of the Ed Show on MSNBC, and the best friend postal workers have on television today, addressed the delegates on Day 4 of the National Convention.
“I want to tell you a little bit about what we’re going through at the Ed Show,” he told the delegates. “Every day we have to come to work and debunk a new lie. This is the most dishonest national campaign this country has ever seen with Romney and Ryan.”
“It’s a misinformation campaign, and in some parts of the country it’s working.”
“They’ll tell seniors in Florida that ‘we won’t touch Medicare,’ but when you look at their budget, it’s a whole different story.”
“Postal workers are living what the Republicans are all about. Republicans came up with the pre-funding requirement. They want to privatize everything.
“If the Republicans had their way, you wouldn’t be here.
“The Republicans are not your friend. They never have been and they never will be. Just look at their record. They want your health care gone. They want your pension at the mercy of Wall St. They want to take your voice. They’ve gone after collective bargaining over the past two years.
“I think this is the biggest story in America,” Schultz said.
“As long as I’m in front of a microphone, I feel obligated to tell the story of the working class,” he added. “We have to tell your story, over and over again.”
“This is the biggest election in American history for American workers, and for American women.
“The Republicans are willing to let some Americans fail. They don’t want everybody to have a voice. They want to suppress the vote, so they can do a better job of destroying workers rights in America.
“We’re not going to let it happen,” said Schultz to thunderous applause. “We’re not going to let them take away what we believe in. Nothing is lost until you give up.”
“Unions are the savior of the middle class in America and are vital to getting America back where it needs to be.”
Delegates to USPS Board of Governors:
Honor Our Contract, Save the Postal Service
Before wrapping up business on Aug. 23, delegates ratified a series of resolutions that highlighted the prevailing message of the 21st Biennial Convention: The APWU must continue to develop national and local strategies to aid the fight to Save America’s Postal Service; join with other postal unions and allies, and do everything in our power to elect labor-friendly candidates in November.
Convention delegates also endorsed a resolution calling on all locals, state organizations, retiree chapters, auxiliary chapters and other affiliated organizations to write to the chairman of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors demanding that he:
The letters should be sent by Sept. 19, 2012.
Postal Workers Around the World
Stand In Solidarity with the APWU
Among the international guests on the opening day of the APWU’s 21st Biennial National Convention was Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communications Workers Union of the United Kingdom and president of the Union Network International (UNI), a global federation comprising more than 900 affiliated unions in 140 countries. Hayes told the delegates that “The world’s postal workers are following closely the developments with the United States Postal Service.”
“When a major policy change happens in the USA, the rest of the world notices,” Hayes told the delegates. “Five million postal workers around the world are standing in solidarity with you in your fight to save the USPS.”
“In Europe,” Hayes told the delegates, “we have postal liberalization within the European Union. The maintenance of even a minimum USO [universal service obligation] is under threat in many countries.”
And so, when those in power set out to destroy postal services – through privatization, liberalization, or anti-worker legislation – like your friend Darrell Issa – I understand that’s a curse word in some circles here – UNI stands shoulder to shoulder with you.”
“Postal workers around the world are outraged by this brazen attempt to take down the world’s leading postal service,” said Hayes.
“It is clear that Congress created this problem with the pre-funding requirement, and Congress needs to fix that problem.” Hayes said.
UNI has produced and published a number of reports that show examples from countries like Argentina, New Zealand, and the Netherlands, that the fastest way to provide low-quality postal services is to create low-quality postal jobs.
UNI is fighting back against the world-wide trend of increased use of part-time, temporary, contracted and outsourced postal worker, Hayes told the delegates. “We have got proof that unstable, precarious work does not work.”
UNI is working with the International Transport Workers Federation to win global agreements in multinational companies like DHL, UPS and FedEx.
Everybody Loves a Parade
Unsung Heroes of the APWU
While delegates to the APWU National Convention debate the vital issues facing our union, another convention is going on right in our midst. Delegates to the APWU Auxiliary are also meeting in Los Angeles this week.
The APWU Auxiliary, an affiliate of the American Postal Workers Union, is comprised of relatives of postal workers. In the days before collective bargaining (before 1970) the postal workers’ Auxiliaries were the members’ most important ally, able to lobby Congress on our behalf when we were not allowed.
The oldest Auxiliary of record, the Women's Auxiliary to the National Federation of Post Office Clerks (NFPOC) was organized in 1917. With miserable working conditions and pitiful wages, the mission of the Auxiliary was to bring together family members to support the efforts of the union to achieve better wages and conditions by securing passage of remedial legislation in Congress.
At this year’s APWU Auxiliary Convention, outgoing president Doris Poland was presented an award for her many years of dedicated service. President for the past 10 years, Doris has served in many Auxiliary positions over a 30-year calling.
New APWU Auxiliary President Kathy Danek will be sworn in Friday.
ABA Officers Sworn In
APWU President Cliff Guffey administers the oath of office to newly-elected officers of the Accident Benefit Association. Dave Daniel is the new president. Mike Ganino, who served on the ABA board for more than seven years, has retired.
Building Local Coalitions
to Fight Cuts and Closures
Over 150 delegates attended a workshop Wednesday afternoon to share their experiences building local coalitions to preserve postal services. Activity at the local level is key to the Union’s efforts to save the Postal Service. Earlier Wednesday, the convention adopted a resolution encouraging locals to build local coalitions to defeat service cuts and facility closures.
APWU Pays Tribute to Wounded Warriors
On Aug. 23, the convention paid tribute to the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team, whose members have lost limbs and suffered other serious injuries in the line of duty.
The Warriors play exhibition games against teams of able-bodied firefighters, police officers, soldiers, and celebrities, and travel the country to raise awareness of veterans’ issues. To date, they boast a winning record of 36-20.
U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Matias Ferreira, the team’s catcher who lost both his legs in combat in Afghanistan just 15 months ago, thanked the delegates for the APWU’s ongoing support for the team. “I came from Washington to say thank you to all you guys,” he said. “We really do appreciate everything you do for us.”
APWU locals support the Warriors by hosting breakfasts for the team in the towns they visit. The union’s Breakfast for Champions program gives union members an opportunity to meet, support, and thank the players for their sacrifice, grit, and determination. The APWU announced donations of approximately $30,000 for the Warriors from contributions from the union, the APWU Health Plan and Voluntary Benefits Program. The APWU commitment will continue, said APWU President Cliff Guffey, a veteran of the Marine Corp.
For more on Breakfast of Champions and other APWU Support Our Troops programs, visit the Human Relations Department pages on www.apwu.org.
Video Chronicles Union Struggle
A video shown on the first day of the convention summarized the struggles of the APWU to Save America’s Postal Service.
For more information on how to obtain a copy, contact the APWU Communications Department.
Credentials Committee Report