06/19/2007 - The U.S. Senate is expected to debate legislation this week that would remove many of the obstacles faced by American workers who want to form unions.
The Employee Free Choice Act would give American workers greater freedom to make their own choices about joining unions and bargaining for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. The bill (S. 1041) would stiffen penalties for harassment, intimidation, and other illegal tactics employers often use to prevent workers from unionizing.
05/17/2007 - The APWU Legislative Department has produced a brochure that outlines the union’s legislative goals. “After more than a decade of focusing our legislative activities on the pros and cons of various postal ‘reform’ measures, the American Postal Workers Union has entered a new era,” the booklet notes. The new brochure identifies issues that demand our members’ attention, and provides a guide for the union’s advocacy work on Capitol Hill.
05/10/2007 - A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would establish firm deadlines for Area Mail Processing surveys and would prohibit the USPS from removing equipment or reducing the workforce in affected facilities during AMP studies.
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) introduced H.R. 2177, which would require the Postal Service to complete AMP studies within 180 days. Extensions of 60 days would be permitted only if “persons likely to be affected” are notified prior to the expiration of the original deadline.
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.
03/23/2007 - 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.
03/09/2007 - 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.
03/02/2007 - The House of Representatives voted 241-185 in favor of legislation that would strengthen workers’ ability to bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions by safeguarding their rights when they choose to form unions.
Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education & Labor Committee and a co-sponsor of the bill, said the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800) would reform a broken system in which “employers frequently intimidate, harass, reassign or even fire workers who support the formation of a union.”
02/16/2007 - More than 130 members of Congress will join workers, union leaders, and community activists at press conferences and other events in cities across the country Feb. 19-23 to demonstrate support for the Employee Free Choice Act of 2007. The bipartisan bill, introduced in the House by Reps. George Miller (D-CA), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), and Peter King (R-NY), would fix a broken process in which employers brazenly intimidate, harass, and fire workers who want to form unions.
“I encourage APWU members to participate in these activities and to join the movement to protect workers’ rights to seek better pay and benefits,” said APWU President William Burrus.
11/13/2006 - The overwhelming wave of victories by Democrats on Nov. 7 presents an opportunity for the U.S. Congress to do a better job of representing the interests of American workers and their families, said APWU Legislative Director Myke Reid.
“All too often for the last several years,” Reid said, “the Republican-controlled House and Senate opted to enhance corporate profits at the expense of the very people who performed the work that generated these profits.”
“From increasing the minimum wage to reversing policies that significantly reduced overtime pay for so-called supervisors, Democrats — the new majority party — have a mandate in the 110 th Congress to do better for American workers.”
11/09/2006 - Standing beneath a sign reading, “The People Won,” APWU President William Burrus saluted union members who worked to help elect “forward-thinking” candidates on Election Day 2006.
“This is a great day for democracy, a great day for the labor movement, and a great day for us,” Burrus said during an impromptu celebration at APWU headquarters on Wednesday. He noted that several members of the staff had worked the phones or otherwise campaigned for candidates who had expressed support for working families and he reported that APWU members in the field had worked just as hard.