Bad Weather Doesn’t Rain on Eastern Region, Northeast Region CAT Training’s Parade
03/06/2015 - Training for the APWU contract campaign moved to the Eastern and Northeast Regions on March 4 in Atlantic City, NJ. Despite a looming snowstorm, more than 65 union leaders and activists participated.
Eastern Region Coordinator Mike Gallagher was unable to attend, so Northeast Region Coordinator John Dirzius opened the training session.
"Our Contract Campaign is well underway,” Dirzius said. “On Feb. 17 the APWU conducted its first contract Town Hall Conference Call. On Feb. 18 we held Union Pride Day, where members took 'selfies' showing off their union shirts and contract stickers. On Feb. 19, we celebrated ‘I’m Sticking with the Union’ day, where members proudly wore contract stickers.
“So we are well on our way, with more to come. With our collective voices we are making it clear for all to hear that we want a Good Contract...Good Service...Good Jobs!”
Bill Fletcher, an AFGE staffer who is helping the APWU with the contract campaign, helped lead the training, which stressed the importance of communicating with the public, as well as fellow union members.
Attendees said they found the training extremely educational.
“The class…gave me different tactics on how to form a committee and how these committees can learn how to go out to different agencies and organizations and help the APWU in its efforts to achieve a better contract for our members,” said Patricia Vasquez, Clerk Craft Director of the Flushing (NY) Local.
Vince Tarducci, president of the Philadelphia BMC Local, agreed.
“The APWU contract campaign addressed the importance of a member mobilization, along with our relationship to the public as two things necessary in these national level negotiations,” Tarducci said. “Our national negotiators cannot do it alone and by having a member-driven contract, we hope to ensure a very good collective bargaining agreement.”
Members of the New York Metro Area Local were also impressed. "We were very energized and excited by the ideas to link our contract negotiations to saving the public postal service. Our delegation spent dinner and breakfast brainstorming about what we could do when we got home." said Flo Summergrad. "We will do or best to get things going in NY Metro," added Kevin Walsh, director of organization.