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Stay Strong Going Into Arbitration

04/02/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Organization Director Anna Smith

With contract negotiations going into interest arbitration, staying united and strong is essential at every level. Reminding not only ourselves but our non-member co-workers that the need to stand together is essential to preserve the rights and benefits we currently enjoy.

Below are some examples of what APWU members can and have achieved by working together.

Coming in 2019

01/17/2019 - (This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Organization Director Anna Smith

Organizing is more than signing up the non-member; it is also engaging our union brothers and sisters as well as members of our communities. It’s about building our labor movement. It’s about ending the divide-and conquer tactics of our enemies. It’s about building up our union at every level of the organization.

As we begin 2019, inviting non-members to after-work events, parties, gatherings, bowling, etc. cannot be accepted any more. Understand, these aren’t our friends. It does not mean that we need to be rude or demoralizing, as every non-member is a potential member. What it does mean, however, is that they are working against all of us. While we fight and preserve what we have – the benefits that support our families, the wages we receive – these non-members work directly against us. If you start evaluating and looking at who has your back, you will find it is not the non-member standing next to you.

Have a Conversation

11/05/2018 - (This article first appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Organization Director Anna Smith

Having a conversation with a non-member coworker can be downright intimidating. It is because of this intimidation some find it frightening and daunting to ask them to stand with us. It is important to move past our concerns and approach them.

The fact is these non-members are working against our best interest. Some non-members are loud and confrontational with anti-union rhetoric. They let everyone know why they are not a member. While we all realize the harm done by the boisterous one, understand that the silent non-member is as destructive, if not more. They are silently working against everything we fight to achieve. They are not on the same side.

Labor Rights are Human Rights

10/04/2018 - (This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Organization Director Anna Smith


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We all have heard of human rights and we all have those rights. But, did you know that labor rights are human rights?

What do I mean by that? Well, let me give an example and begin with the “right to an education.” Public education is far too often taken for granted by Americans. Sadly, only in the last century is it normal for children go to school and learn reading, writing and basic mathematics. This is all because of the work of worker unions in the late 1800s and early 1900s to end child labor. Once young children were no longer going to work in places like the clothing mills or mines, the need for elementary and high schools emerged. Unions then fought for those schools to be public, and not owned by a religious group or a company (in the cases of “company towns”).

Workers fought for free public education. We succeeded in helping secure the right of every American to have a K-12 education. We still are fighting for that same right to a free collegiate education. Labor unions fought for human rights to be protected by law. We constantly fight to give true meaning to the phrase “dignity and respect.” We fought for, and continue to fight, to maintain basic freedoms like thought, speech, press, religion, assembly and especially our right to petition our government to correct the wrongs we face.

Many Hands Make Light Work

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Organization Director Anna Smith

Sometimes it seems like we are our own worst enemy. When I first started my postal career there was always gloom and doom rhetoric going around the workroom floor. Talk that frankly scared the heck out of me. What I learned though, is that I don’t get to complain about what someone else isn’t doing for me if I’m not willing to step up to the plate and fight for myself.

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