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The Union Election Process: Nominations

09/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the September-October 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Nominating candidates for office is a fundamental component of democratically electing union officers, and an important part of the election process.  

According to the Labor Management and Disclosure Act, union members must be given a reasonable opportunity to nominate candidates. To do this, election officials (or other responsible officials) must provide a timely notice of nominations and must use procedures that give all members the opportunity to make nominations.

Even if local officials believe no one wants to run, a nomination notice must be sent to all members, and nominations for each office must take place each term.

'Post Office Guy' is a Civilian Champion

09/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the September-October 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Sidney Moss is a semi-retired clinical social worker, but around town in Northampton, MA, he is known as “the post office guy.”

For the past year, Moss has been writing letters to the editor of his local paper about the need to keep post offices and processing plants open, because “it’s one of the few iconic forces in America that’s not completely taken over by the corporate world.”

Recently, he participated in the APWU’s postcard campaign, getting friends, relatives, colleagues and neighbors to sign the ‘I Stand with Postal Workers’ cards. He also has been handing out union brochures that dispel myths about the Postal Service.

The Fight for a Good Contract Marches On

09/01/2015 -


The Wilmington Delaware/Malcom T. Smith Area
Local made customized union shirts.

(This article first appeared in the September-October 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

The fight for a good contract is marching on! Union negotiators participated in mediation and continued to prepare for the possibility of arbitration throughout the summer, while union members took the APWU’s message to the work floor and communities across the country.

Mediation began on June 9, under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), whose job is to help the parties reach a voluntary agreement. If mediation is unsuccessful, the contract will be resolved through arbitration.

The Power of Mentoring Our Young Members

09/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the September-October 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)


Young unionists and activists at the Young Workers Summit,
sponsored by AFL-CIO in March.

Were you aware that over 40 percent of our workforce is eligible for retirement? The baby boomers need younger leaders to carry on the work of our union and the labor movement. We don’t have much time to build new union activists, so it is essential that we mentor our young members.    

A mentor is a trusted advisor, counselor or guide. Mentoring can take place between an older person and a younger person, a young person with another young person, a woman with a woman, a man with a man, etc.

At its best, mentoring is a two-way process where both parties learn new skills and see the union from a different perspective. The goal is to develop future APWU activists and leaders.

Energizing CATs for a Good Contact

09/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the September-October 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.) 

One of the responsibilities of APWU leaders is to motivate union members to join in and do their part in fighting for a good contract and the survival of the Postal Service.

That is where CATs (Contract Action Teams) come into play. They emphasize participation of union members on the work floor and activities in the community to win support from the public.

The 2016 Presidential Election: My Thoughts; How About Yours?

09/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the September-October 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

It’s amazing that presidential campaigns have become such big business that they never seem to cease. As soon as one ends, the next one begins, unleashing megabucks of corporate cash and contributions from super-wealthy donors, endless campaigning, TV ads that jam our screens, election-time campaign promises, and politicians of all stripes proclaiming that they are champions of the people.

Then, if events proceed as “normal,” no matter who wins the election, the promises remain unfulfilled. Wall Street representatives once again dominate the new administration, a starvation-level minimum wage remains along with an ever-increasing number of low-wage jobs, pensions continue to disappear, voting rights are further suppressed, endless wars for profits are waged, while attacks on the “public good” intensify, and public postal services advance toward privatization.

I have set up a special email account to hear your views on the 2016 election. I welcome your thoughts at APWU2016@apwu.org.

Moving Forward on the Contract, Safety and Health

09/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the September-October 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

The APWU participated in mediation on our contract throughout the summer, in sessions that were frequently contentious. We were candid and forthright throughout the process. 

Although mediation utilizes the services of professionals who specialize in resolving disputes, we realize that ultimately, mediation requires a voluntary agreement.

For that reason, throughout the mediation process, we have been preparing for the possibility that our contract dispute will be resolved through Interest Arbitration. Those efforts continue.

The End of the Fiscal Year and Custodial Hours

09/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the September-October 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

We are quite likely still heading for Interest Arbitration for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. And while that is the top priority for APWU officers, day-to-day and month-to-month battles continue.

Issues we thought were resolved often find their way back to the front burner, typically because a manager in the field disagreed with how the union and management settled a problem and came up with way to undermine it.

These stuck-in-the past types typically possess a great deal of anti-union animus. In other words, they just don’t like us. Their attitude is, if they can cause trouble, so much the better.

Negotiations and the Power in a Union

09/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the September-October 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

“If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them  . . .”  Frederick Douglass - August 3, 1857.

HCR Disputes, Renewals and Subcontracting

09/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the September-October 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

On June 25, 2015, the APWU won another round in our fight against subcontracting when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) denied a motion by the National Star Route Mail Association (the group that represents HCR contractors) to re-open the case in which we won the right to receive un-redacted copies of PS Form 7463A, Negotiated Cost Statement – Highway Transportation Contracts. The form shows the final agreement on contract costs between the USPS and contractors.

It’s very unusual for a third party to attempt to intervene in a case between the APWU and USPS, and we’re pleased the board ruled against the subcontractors who are after our work.

The ruling means we can renew our demand that management comply with the NLRB award and – finally! – get the information we are seeking.

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