Union Sets Oct. 26 For Nationwide Day of Picketing
09/28/2006 - In accordance with a resolution adopted by delegates to the union’s 18th Biennial Convention, the APWU National Executive Board has selected Oct. 26 for a nationwide day of picketing to protest ill-advised postal consolidations.
The coordinated informational picketing is intended to highlight the potentially damaging effects of the USPS consolidation plan, and to expose how Postal Service policy panders to major mailers. The Oct. 26 date was selected to give local unions the opportunity to seek support from elected officials and candidates prior to Election Day, Nov. 7.
“I urge locals and state organizations to participate in the nationwide day of picketing,” said APWU President William Burrus, “and I urge them to take our message to the public: This plan will delay mail to local communities, and it is being forced on the American people without their input.
“We intend to change that,” Burrus said. “We will engage the public in a dialogue about their expectations and experience with postal service. These informational pickets are an opportunity to express our concerns.”
The union president also urged locals to inform elected officials about the USPS consolidation plan and the negative effect it will have on service to their constituents. In a Sept. 12 letter to every member of Congress, Burrus wrote, “The Postal Service has failed to consider the concerns of the American people, denied them the information necessary to determine if the revised network will meet their needs, and excluded them from having real input in the decision-making process.”
Input from individuals and small businesses is especially important in view of the fact that special interests in the ‘mailing industry’ have lobbied for a reduction in the mail processing network in order to improve their own bottom line. “We believe the changes would be at the expense of service to small businesses and individual customers,” he wrote.
The nationwide day of picketing will present an opportunity for union activists to encourage their co-workers to vote, Burrus noted. “This is a crucial election, and we will support candidates who support postal workers.”
The national union will mail information to local and state presidents to assist them in their efforts to organize the pickets and publicize the union’s message. Posters, flyers, and other material can be ordered online. (Additional ordering information will be provided in the coming days.)