APWU Activists Work to ‘Defend Our BMCs’

October 9, 2008

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The APWU “Defend Our BMCs Committee,” which was established to combat USPS attempts to privatize work at the nation’s 21 Bulk Mail Centers, has made its first inroads into the legislative arena, meeting with aides to both of New Jersey’s U.S. senators in early October.

The committee was formed at a BMC Conference just prior to the National Convention in August, and held its first meeting, via teleconference, in late September. On Oct. 2, BMC committee members met with aides to New Jersey’s U.S. Senators, Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg.

“Study after study shows how outsourcing Bulk Mail Center work would hurt service,” Vince Tarducci (Philadelphia BMC Local president), told the lawmakers. “If they get away with privatizing there, they will go on to the next group.”

Accompanying Tarducci, the committee chairperson, to the meeting were Eastern Region Coordinator Michael Gallagher, National Representative-at-Large Idowu Balogun (national BMC coordinator), Clarice Torrence (president, New York Metro Area Local, the committee’s vice chair) and representatives of the National Postal Mail Handler Union. Clerk Craft NBA Robert Romanowski was instrumental in arranging the meeting.

The committee will coordinate the union’s efforts to stop the subcontracting of work performed at BMCs. It plans to organize grassroots activities aimed at winning congressional support, including letter-writing and holding additional meetings between representatives of BMC employees and their legislators. The committee will encourage locals to replicate the type of event held in Philadelphia on Sept. 13, at which Rep. Patrick Murphy led a rally denouncing the privatization plans. An advertising campaign is also being considered.

“The locals whose members who would be affected by changes to the BMCs must be actively involved in the union’s activities,” said APWU President William Burrus. “We will use all the resources at our command to prevent the continued erosion of postal jobs and the diminishment of service to the American people.”

The committee’s next teleconference will be held Oct. 27, and the presidents of all the locals that represent BMCs will be invited to participate.

Members of the committee are:

Vince Tarducci, Chair, President, Philadelphia BMC Local
Clarice Torrence, Co-Chair, President, New York Metro Area Local (New Jersey Int. BMC) 
Kennith Beasley, President, Atlanta Metro Area Local 
Craig Fisher, President, Tri-County Ohio Area Local (Cincinnati BMC)
Kevin Beener, President, Des Moines BMC Local
Yolanda Elder, President, Greater Los Angeles Area Local
Herb Myers, President, St. Louis BMC Local
Mike Gallagher, Advisory Member, APWU Eastern Region Coordinator
Idowu Balogun, Coordinator, National Representative-at-Large

The 21 locals that represent APWU members at BMCs are:

Atlanta Metro Area Local, Chicago BMC Area Local, Dallas Area Local, Denver BMC Local, Des Moines BMC Local, Detroit District Area Local, East Bay (CA) Area Local, Greater Los Angeles Area Local, Greensboro (NC) BMC, Jacksonville (FL) BMC, Kansas Kaw Valley Area, Memphis Area Local, Minneapolis Area Local, Nation’s Capital/Southern MD Area Local, New York Metro Area Local, Philadelphia BMC Local, Pittsburgh Metro Area Local, Seattle BMC Local, Springfield Mass Area Local, St. Louis BMC Local, Tri-County Ohio Area Local.

To ask questions or provide comments, send e-mails to: bmc@apwu.org.

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