All-Craft Conference Gets Underway

November 5, 2013

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The APWU’s All-Craft Conference got underway on Nov. 4, with participants from across the country eager to discuss the challenges facing the union and plans for the future.

Clerk Craft workshops covered topics such as PSE Issues, the Maximization and Desirable Duty Assignment Tool, Excessing 2013, and more. Motor Vehicle Craft workshops addressed Subcontracting and National Arbitrations, as well as general craft issues. More workshops are scheduled for Nov. 5 and 6, and each craft will hold a general session, where participants from each craft will meet to discuss topics confronting the craft as a whole.

The Maintenance Division held its general session on Nov. 4, where participants heard updates on important arbitration cases and reports from national officers, and engaged in discussion. The Support Services Division also held a general session.

President-Elect Mark Dimondstein spoke at the general sessions and briefly outlined his vision for the future. “We must build a grand alliance in defense of our national treasure — a public Postal Service,” he said. “We must rally the people of this country in that struggle.”

Noting that postal management is privatizing operations in a piecemeal fashion, he said there must be greater cooperation among postal unions in the fight.

As president, he will ask for support from union members and activists, he said, but not for their loyalty. “Our loyalty must be to the members,” he said. Dimondstein and the union's other national officers will take the oath of office on Nov. 7 and officially begin their terms on Nov. 12.

Members of the APWU Retirees Department also participated in workshops on Nov. 4 on computers, eating well, staying connected with the community and aging organizations, and developing chapter newsletters and websites. CPR training was offered as well.

The union’s Deaf/Hard of Hearing Task Force held a conference on Nov. 2 and 3, where new regional representatives were elected. A BMC conference also was held Nov. 3.

President Cliff Guffey and Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk gave a presentation on Veterans’ Benefits and the Pitfalls of Veterans’ Claims in a special session on Nov. 3, where they gave special focus to the effects of Agent Orange on the health of Vietnam-era veterans. They were joined by representatives of the Veterans Health Council, which is a program of Vietnam Veterans of America. The council informs veterans and their families about health issues and benefits available to them.

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