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Hearing Loss

07/24/2018 - Twenty percent of Americans report some degree of hearing loss but those who serve are far more impacted by auditory disorders than the general public due to their exposure to artillery gunfire, battlefield explosives, loud machinery, aircraft noise and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Hearing loss and tinnitus, a perceived ringing in the ear that often accompanies it, are the top two service-connected disabilities afflicting service members and generations of veterans. These maladies are often overshadowed by other challenges our service men and women face.

In 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reported, more than 1.6 million veterans received disability compensation benefits for tinnitus, and another 1.1 million received monthly payments for hearing loss. A staggering 60 percent of the troops who returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan sustained some degree of hearing loss, causing the military to take preemptive measures to curtail hearing loss.

The Struggle to Win the 40-Hour Workweek

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Research & Education Director Joyce Robinson 

The upcoming celebration of Labor Day is a good time to remember the role labor unions have played in raising living standards and improving the quality of life for working people in the United States. While most people recognize that unions have been beneficial for their members, there is little known about the role of labor unions in winning the 40-hour workweek.

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.

The Attacks From All Sides Can Only Be Fought Through Solidarity

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August  2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard 

White House Proposal to Privatize the Postal Service
In June, the White House proposal, “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” was released. This proposal puts forth a restructuring plan for the federal government which includes the privatization of the Postal Service. It was crafted around a slew of untruths including the implication that the Postal Service relies on taxpayer dollars.

Can We Trust USPS Management?

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Motor Vehicle Service Craft Directors 

Can we ever trust USPS management to live up to their agreements and obligations?

On August 18, 2016, during our last convention in Orlando, the Motor Vehicle Division received one of the most important arbitration decisions relating to Article 32.2.B and the renewal of Highway Contract Routes (HCRs).

The Function One Fiasco

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Eastern Regional Coordinator Mike Gallagher 

The USPS embarked on a mission to staff all Function One Mail Processing operations using a program that sets up staffing based on a time and work measurement system (earned hours) rather than hours actually used. This program has been the basis for a substantial number of Regional Notifications for clerks to be reassigned out of craft and/or out of installation nationwide.

Filling Maintenance Vacancies - Part 1

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)

By Maintenance Craft Directors 

The Joint Contract Interpretation Manual (JCIM) is the mutually agreed upon explanation on how to apply our contract to filling vacant maintenance positions.

The May 2017 JCIM included the Order for Filling Vacant Maintenance Positions. The contractual definition is to duty assignments. Within the craft, we referto this as the “pecking order.”

The preamble paragraph is frequently overlooked: The appropriate PAR and PER must be exhausted before considering other hiring options. To be considered qualified an employee must either be eligible under the current in-craft process for the position in question or be a Maintenance Craft employee in the same level and occupational group as the vacancy.

A Culture of Solidarity

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)

By Clerk Craft Directors 

The owners of large corporations and their allies are behind the push to degrade and dismantle the Postal Service. Their money largely controls Congress, the media, and the USPS. However, we outnumber the corporate interests 99 to one. We outnumber management 25 to one and to be successful we need to use our advantage in numbers. The national APWU has been assisting our locals to inform the public and utilize collective actions so we can fight back and build a movement. But the question is: how do we get from here to there? How do we create successful collective actions?

Workers Under Attack and Fighting Back!

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the May-June 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman 

Today, more than ever, I am thankful to be a member of the APWU. Throughout my career the union has stood up when management may have wronged me and my coworkers and represented us all in negotiations that have provided a good living, benefits, and retirement. You and I are some of the fortunate in America today who have a union to do this for us. Most American workers do not have a union to represent them. Because they don’t have a union, along with their families, they are suffering.

We Are Stronger With Our Allies

07/23/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By By Secretary-Treasurer Liz Powell 

The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) has begun bargaining with the United States Postal Service (USPS) for a new contract, and members know this is our bread and butter. This is one of the primary reasons why we signed up to join our union. We are focused on getting the best deal possible for our members and their families while securing the future of the postal service.

Because our members have been united, in the past we’ve been successful. If we stay united, with a broad vision of social justice, I believe we will be successful now and into the future.

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