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APWU Web News Article 29-2019

How to Participate in Workers Memorial Day

04/26/2019 - Each year on Workers Memorial Day (April 28), working people throughout the world remember those who were hurt or killed on the job, and recommit to the struggle for a safe workplace.

Virtually every safety and health protection on the books today exists because union workers fought together to win them, the most notable being the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

On April 28, 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Act became effective and the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was formed. Since the law was passed, significantly fewer workers have been killed on the job each year; however, there is still a long way to go. Right now, the federal government is reversing safety regulations and slashing resources for safety enforcement.

APWU Web News Article 26-2019

31,000 Stop & Shop Workers on Strike in New England

04/17/2019 - On Thursday, Apr. 11, nearly 31,000 workers at over 240 Stop & Shop grocery stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut walked out, beginning a strike that stretched into a seventh day on Wednesday. The workers, unionized under five New England-based locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), began the strike after months of negotiations with Stop & Shop reached an impasse and the collective bargaining agreement expired on Feb. 23.

The strike is the largest private-sector work stoppage in the United States since 2016’s Verizon strike by members of the Communications Workers of America.

Closing the Gender Pay Gap

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

By Research & Education Department Director Joyce B. Robinson

Because women earn less than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. In 1996, The National Committee on Pay Equity originated Equal Pay Day to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages and create a symbolic day when women’s earnings “catch up” to men’s earnings from the previous year. This year, Equal Pay Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

Honored to be Serving as Northeast Coordinator

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

By Northeast Region Coordinator Ron Suslak

On Jan. 16, President Dimondstein appointed me to the vacant Northeast Regional Coordinator position with confirmation by the National Executive Board, following John Dirzius’s retirement from the role on Dec. 31, 2018.  John is a personal friend of mine, an outstanding Regional Coordinator, and an energetic labor leader. Our union is better for his many years of hard work and dedication, and I know I will have large shoes to fill in the upcoming months.

Clerk Craft Updates

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

By Clerk Division Director Clint Burelson 

National Grievances

As a result of the Clerk Craft’s win in the Sales Retention Team dispute, the USPS recently sent checks to eligible employees as part of the $36 million remedy for the USPS violations when they failed to post new duty assignments in the sites with Sales Retention Teams. The Clerk Craft’s win of $49.9 million in the Postmaster Relief (PMR) dispute should be coming out to eligible employees later this year. Part of the delay in paying employees is getting accurate information from the Postal Service.

A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service

Strikes, Shutdown and Service — Public Servants Rise in Defense of the Public Good

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

Conventional wisdom suggested that the anti-union Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME last summer spelled the inevitable decline of public sector unionism in this country. Despite a generation of corporate led attacks on public unions and the public good culminating in Janus, public-sector workers and their allies are standing in defense of the common good that everyone in this country relies upon.

What's to Come in Interest Arbitration

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

By Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman 

Our efforts to reach a new contract are now entering the next phases of mediation and interest arbitration.

In mediation, an impartial mediator engages the Postal Service and the APWU negotiating teams in an attempt to break through any impasses and reach an agreement. If mediation does not lead to a voluntary agreement, we will move to interest arbitration.vvvv

Solidarity Works! United Worker Actions Mean We Prevail

04/01/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

Working people across the country continue to build on past organizing successes to beat back government actions that threaten our jobs and our families’ futures.

For the last few years, labor has been in the streets, defending our rights to good, family-sustaining jobs and dignified retirements. APWU has been a key part of these recent labor victories, with our successful Stop Staples campaign against privatizers in the USPS.

2019 is barely three months old, yet collective worker action has already led to two tremendous victories. First, the partial government shutdown beginning Dec. 22, 2018. More than 800,000 federal workers were locked out or forced to work without pay as President Trump demanded billions in funding for a border wall. After the longest federal government shutdown in history – lasting 35 days – workers brought it to an end because they fought back, and the entire American labor movement came to their aid.

Second, the strike by education personnel in West Virginia – the second in as many years – once again captured national attention and showed the country how it is possible to win when workers stand together, even when the government is set squarely against them. 

Solidarity

04/01/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By President Mark Dimondstein 

Our labor anthem is “Solidarity Forever.” I sign letters “in union solidarity.”

But what is solidarity?

The dictionary definition is: “unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.”

There are many examples of real-life solidarity:

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