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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


Breaker Boys in Pittston, PA 1911

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.

APWU Web News Article 36-2018

Members Get Your Gear

to Get Fired Up & Ready to Go!

04/11/2018 -

Are you Fired Up and Ready to Go for the 2018 Contract Negotiations? Get your gear to show it! 

Members can now buy t-shirts, stickers, and wristbands from the APWU Store. 

Click here for the APWU Store. 

Building on Our Success

03/01/2017 - (This article first appeared in the March-April 2017 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

By Organization Director Anna Smith

We had an outstanding finish in 2016 with approximately 21,000 new members joining the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) family. Our success can be attributed to hard work and dedication at every level of our union!

New Employee, New Union Member

01/01/2017 -


Prospective members at orientation training by the Phoenix Metro Area Local.

(This article first appeared in the January-February 2017 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.

Missed opportunities to strengthen the APWU are happening every day. Each orientation for new hires, new career employees and PSE enrollment into Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB), is a chance for organizers and local union leaders to reach out to possible new members. Each of you can make a big impact by simply taking advantage of the language in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). We must jump on these crucial minutes to provide education, outreach and empowerment.

APWU Web News Article 234-2016

APWU Organizing Victory!

10/28/2016 -


Gloria Gonzalez (left) and her co-worker proudly display
their APWU membership cards. 

The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) is celebrating an organizing victory! Workers at the Mail Transport Equipment Service Center (MTESC) located in Urbandale, Iowa, voted to join the Des Moines Area Local. The MTESCs are run by postal subcontractors, servicing the sorting and palletizing of mail trays, bags and other equipment. The favorable vote was over a two-to-one margin of 18-8. 

 

Our Most Important Member: YOU!

05/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the May-June 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Organizing is not just about signing up new members – it’s joining with current members to ensure common success. Our camaraderie and solidarity will also motivate non-members to join the union.

Management will try to take advantage of any dissension among union members. Postal bosses take note of whether the membership is engaged and active or passive and disengaged. Managers look for every weakness they can find. Let’s show them our strength.

Union meetings are the place to air our differences, not on the workroom floor and definitely not in front of management. We might disagree, as any family does, but when one of us is wronged, we must defend each other. That’s the union way.

Excerise Your Precious Right to Organize

03/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the March-April 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Organizing is our union’s strength and essential to our survival. When contract negotiations take place, inevitably non-members ask questions about issues that are discussed during bargaining.

That’s a great opportunity to remind non-members that only union members have input into negotiations. It’s also a good time to point out that union members are forced to pay non-members’ share of the costs associated with negotiating and enforcing the contract.

We all know the phrases, have seen the posters and read the posts on social media. “Strength in Solidarity,” “Union Power” and “United We Bargain, Divided We Beg.”

A Step-by-Step Guide to Signing-Up New Members

12/23/2014 - Happy New Year! In 2015 the Organization Department will expand our training efforts by reaching out to locals and conducting regional training seminars on how to sign-up non-members.

“The union” isn’t a third party. It’s you. It’s me. It is all of us working together for a common cause. By working together we aim to achieve better working conditions, safe work places, a better standard of living for ourselves and our families, and dignity and respect on the job. 

When people talk about what the union does or doesn’t do, remember, we are the union.

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