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APWU Web News Article 167-2014

PMG ‘Wanted’ in Salt Lake City

09/11/2014 - If Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe thought his speech to a group of business mailers in Salt Lake City on Sept. 10 was going to be a quiet, uneventful affair, he was mistaken.

A coalition of unions and postal customers showed up outside the Grand America Hotel, the site of the speech, to protest the PMG’s plans to privatize postal operations and cut service to the people.

“We are here today to tell Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe that his destructive cutbacks to the American people’s Postal Service will not be tolerated,” Charlie Cash, president of Salt Lake City Area Local APWU, told media outlets. 

The PMG’s Trumpeted Attack – Forewarned is Forearmed

09/11/2014 - The Postmaster General’s Federal Register announcement makes management’s intent to impose more consolidations and cuts crystal clear. Even if we succeed in our legislative efforts, the USPS Board of Governors will plow ahead with their strategic initiatives to “rationalize” the network and streamline the workforce. The next wave of consolidated attack is slated for January 2015. So we MUST PREPARE!

Organization

At the Top of Their Game

09/11/2014 - Snce January, the APWU has signed up more than 6,300 new members. The commitment to organizing is growing, but we still have a long road ahead. Although excessing, downsizing and consolidations have hurt membership, some locals have maintained or increased membership.

Clerk Division

Privatizing by Incentivizing

09/11/2014 - We often think of privatization as the transfer of public ownership. However, the Postal Service’s policy of offering postage discounts to large mailers has led to a similar harmful end result – a huge transfer of work and revenue from the public sector to the private sector – without a change in ownership of the USPS.

Maintenance Division

Dispute on Custodial Staffing Settled; More Than 3,150 PSEs Converted

09/11/2014 - The APWU and USPS signed a major settlement on July 9 that resolved a long-standing dispute over custodial staffing and resulted in the conversion to career of all Maintenance Craft Postal Support Employees.

It was not an agreement we entered into lightly. The agreement stipulates that the MS-47 Handbook-Transmittal Letter 5, which governs custodial work and staffing, will be implemented as amended by our negotiations.

Human Relations

Our Right to Vote is Under Attack

09/11/2014 - In recent years, our right to vote has come under attack all across the country. Dozens of states are advancing voter suppression laws in an effort to influence the outcome of elections.

The democratic process of the United States is based on free elections. America holds it up as a model for the world. For more than two centuries, our country has consistently expanded the ability of its citizens to vote.

Retirees

Do You Have What It Takes to Vote?

09/11/2014 - There has been a lot of information on TV, in newspapers, and online about changes in voting procedures for the upcoming midterm elections on Nov. 4. Voter identification laws have made it more difficult for seniors to exercise their right to participate in the election process in many states.

Seniors who don’t drive may not have the necessary ID and, depending on the state, there may even be a fee to obtain proper ID.

Industrial Relations

Setting Priorities, Mobilizing Members For Contract Negotiations

09/11/2014 - On the final day of the apwu 22nd biennial national convention in july, delegates adopted a resolution that spells out priorities for upcoming contract negotiations with the USPS, which are set to begin in February. The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expires in May 2015.

After voting to adopt more than 125 specific labor-management resolutions earlier in the week, convention delegates passed a motion, Standing Up and Fighting Back, which encouraged the union’s national leadership to “mobilize our members and galvanize postal workers, friends of labor and concerned citizens” to fundamentally change management policies.

Legislative & Political

Why Congress Can’t Get It Done

09/11/2014 - Why can’t Congress get anything done on postal reform? It seems I’m asked that question all the time – in conversations at conferences and conventions, in letters, phone calls and email correspondence.

In part, the answer is a lack of understanding by members of Congress about how the USPS works and how much authority the legislature has ceded to the Postmaster General. He has slowed down America’s mail and entered into “partnerships” with private industry that undermine the public Postal Service without congressional consent.

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