03/30/2007 - One of the most important labor law reform measures in decades was introduced in the U.S. Senate March 29 — legislation that would give American workers greater freedom to make their own choices about joining unions and bargaining for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.
Sen. Edward Kennedy and 46 co-sponsors introduced the Employee Free Choice Act (S. 1041), a bill that would stiffen penalties for harassment, intimidation, and other illegal tactics employers often use to prevent workers from having a voice at work.
03/29/2007 - In a ceremony March 29, APWU President William Burrus and Postmaster General John E. Potter signed the 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Their signatures formalized the agreement, which was ratified by union members in January. The specific provisions of the agreement have been agreed to, and a permanent printed version is currently being proofread and finalized for printing. The union will post a notice when copies are available.
03/26/2007 - The APWU National Election Committee has amended a rule governing the 2007 election of officers that was published in the March/April issue of The American Postal Worker.
The rule, which originally prohibited automatic national convention delegates from becoming candidates for Director of the APWU Retirees Department and Regional Retiree National Convention Delegate, will now allow automatic delegates to run for Director of the APWU Retirees Department. Automatic national convention delegates will continue to be ineligible to run for Regional Retiree National Convention Delegate.
03/26/2007 - The APWU and the USPS have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract that covers more than 1,200 employees at the IT/ASC (Information Technology/Accounting Service Centers) facilities in Eagan (MN), San Mateo (CA), St. Louis, and Wilkes-Barre (PA).
03/23/2007 - A Senate Committee will hear testimony March 27 from workers and labor law experts on the need to restore workers’ freedom to form unions to bargain for better wages and benefits.
“It’s no secret that a union contract is the best economic uplift program for working people in this country,” said Errol Hohrein, a worker at Front Range Energy who was fired after he and co-workers formed a union. He said the bill would restore the choice to bargain for a better life to people like him who have been denied it. Hohrein is scheduled to testify before the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
03/23/2007 - As part of an ongoing effort to outsource postal work, the USPS recently outlined management’s continuing plans to eliminate Air Mail Centers across the country. Two letters to the APWU provide additional details about plans management announced over the summer.
In a letter dated March 14, 2007, the USPS notified the APWU that management will continue to consider outsourcing operations at 14 of 43 facilities management identified in July 2006. “This decision continues a disturbing trend of replacing good-paying union jobs with low-wage non-union workers,” APWU President William Burrus said.
03/20/2007 - The APWU, along with the other postal unions and management associations, has asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to grant congressional requests for a briefing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on its inquiry into the 2001 anthrax attacks.
The attacks killed five people, including two postal employees — APWU members Thomas L. Morris Jr. and Joseph P. Curseen Jr. Seventeen others were sickened, including several postal workers.
The APWU Women’s Organizing Campaign is taking shape, with organizing kits mailed to 58 locals across the country. The packets include buttons, stickers, balloons, flyers, brochures, T-shirts, and, of course, the most important items of all — union sign-up forms.
The campaign’s theme is straightforward: Juggling the responsibilities of work and home often seems impossible — especially for women, who frequently bear a disproportionate share of family burdens. Somehow, working women manage to get it all done.
03/09/2007 - The APWU is encouraging the USPS Board of Governors to approve the Feb. 26 “recommended decision” of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). In a March 8 letter, union President William Burrus said the PRC’s decision, which rejected the Postal Service’s proposed rate structure for first-class letter mail, is “fundamentally correct.”
The postal Board of Governors must implement the PRC ruling or return it to the commission for further consideration. The Board of Governors can overrule the decision only by a unanimous vote.
03/06/2007 - The USPS has notified the APWU that it expects to disburse back pay for the period from Nov. 25, 2006, through Feb. 2, 2007, in paychecks dated May 18 (Pay Period 10-2007). The retroactive pay will reflect a 1.3 percent raise for five pay periods (Pay Period 25-2006 through 03-2007).