Postal Workers Are Essential Workers

Sharyn M. Stone

March 1, 2021

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(This article first appeared in the March/April 2021 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Moving forward into 2021, we can be amazed and be proud of how we persevered and managed to get through the past year of COVID-19 battered but unbowed. The work of representation did not stop, but the way we got the work done had to be identified and modified. Local, state, regional, and national levels of APWU are working together to serve the membership to the fullest extent necessary. You can see some of the vital union business being conducted through MOUs and bulletins. Our national officers continue to work tirelessly to stay on top of all relevant issues and ensure that necessary information is sent out.

In this new world, where everything that can be done virtually is online for the safety of all involved, we use Zoom as a means to communicate with each other, do trainings, conduct union meetings and discuss issues.

We have also utilized Zoom to assist locals with issues including a means to address constitutional issues and have timely elections in accordance with local/state and our national constitutions. With this tool we have extensively educated, informed and stayed in touch with the membership.

I look forward to continuing the work with our locals and our officers at every level to maintain representation and move the union forward.

Safety

It is imperative that all members know their rights and assert them, especially your right to representation and the right to be safe.

Wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing is not always easy, but it is always necessary. We are still in the throughs of COVID-19. We have to make safety a priority, especially now. Continue to mask up and stand up for safe jobs while maintaining social distancing. We’re not just essential workers; for the most part there are not enough employees to replace us. Please do everything you have to do to protect yourself, which also protects your loved ones and family.

Now that we have a COVID-19 vaccine, hopefully state/ local health authorities will prioritize vaccinating essential postal employees.

Article 12

A number of DMUs (Detached Mail Units) were discontinued because some businesses closed operations or moved for economic reasons. Once employees at these DMUs returned to their home offices, those offices became overstaffed and an Article 12 impact notice was issued. There were also several Article 12 impacts issued for Maintenance in some offices. However, as of yet, management has not moved forward with any action for anyone. Most of these impacts were issued months ago. There is now more evidence that the impacts are improper and should be rescinded.

Essential workers: we get the job done!

We need everyone to get involved. There are still many opportunities for all our members to get active and support our organization. You do not have to be a national, state, or local officer to be involved. Members are our most important asset. Volunteer for a committee or a single event, or just attend a local meeting. My first local position was Entertainment Committee member. We all have something to contribute.

As Coordinator, I am available to assist locals. In addition, Tiffany Foster (Northeast Region), AJ Jones (Eastern Region), Kennith Beasley (Southern Region), and Omar Gonzalez (Western Region) are also always available to work with you and for you to present a stronger united front and be successful in the workplace.

Get up, Stand up

Stand up for your rights

Get up, Stand up

Don’t Give up the fight

– Bob Marley

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