From the Field
This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
Below are quotes from various APWU local and state publications throughout the country. All the publications listed are part of the Postal Press Association.
“Management and the other crafts should never do our work. If they are doing it in your office, they are taking money out of your pocket and causing the APWU to lose jobs. If management or another craft is doing our work, you need to contact the union to file a grievance on the violation, so we can get it stopped and make our members whole…Allowing other crafts to do our work allows management to revert jobs instead of hiring new employees and converting our PSE’s to career. Remember, it’s not the union’s contract that’s being violated, it’s your contract that is. Enforce it!” — Paul McKenna, Milwaukee Area Local President, The Hi-Lites
“Make a point this week to let a non-member know just how much they are needed to help keep our organization strong and vibrant. We are facing battles at every corner and need the involvement of everyone. Organizing our workplace is one of the most important goals of the APWU. We are under constant attack at every juncture and we need everyone to help in the battle for our futures.” — Joe Paul, APWU of Florida Clerk Craft Director, Florida Postal Worker
“WE NEED YOU! An army can’t win a battle without soldiers. Your union can’t win our fight without stewards! The need is critical – The ‘old soldiers’ are going to be gone before you know it – it is well past time for the next generation of local union leaders to step up to begin to learn how to fight for the rights of our members. The rewards are few; the pay almost non-existent. But like the brave women and men who serve our nation’s military, one volunteers to take on the task and make the sacrifice in order to serve the greater good rather than for one’s own personal benefit. That’s what separates us from those who go into management.” — Youngstown Area Local (OH), The Dispatcher
“Unions are definitely not perfect and the officers and stewards certainly are not perfect but we try to do a difficult job the best way we can. And because of this effort that most union people exert, we become better men and women. Some of us phone bank; some of us canvass during elections; most of us police the contract and represent our members to the best of our ability. Yes, we make mistakes but for most, it’s not for the lack of trying. We work hard to earn respect and even harder to safeguard that respect because that is our reward – our reputation, our refusal to do anything unethical. And because of all this, we become a family. We are not a family with just our APWU sisters and brothers but with the whole labor community.” — Frederick Wolfmeyer, St. Louis Gateway District Area Local President, Press On
“We need to be actively engaged in the fight to improve the standard of living for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren... We know what we are fighting for, and it’s through unions that workers can earn a good living wage and live better lives. When someone tells you that you don’t need your union, ask yourself what interest they are representing. Do they work for a think tank financed by a large corporation or are they a corporate executive with earnings that place them squarely in the 1 percent?... Unions today are simply working to restore economic fairness and close the income gap of a very lopsided financial system. It’s time for American workers to renew the labor movement by banding together, joining unions, and fighting for a better tomorrow.” — Grace Baer, Southwest Florida Area Local Clerk Craft Director, The Eagle’s Eye