APWU Members Lead the Charge In Defense of FMLA

April 14, 2008

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APWU members rose to an important challenge in recent weeks: Postal workers submitted more than half of the postings to a Department of Labor Web site that features comments regarding proposed revisions to the Family & Medical Leave Act that would weaken the law. By the deadline for submissions on April 11, more than 1,600 comments had been posted on www.regulations.gov; of those, approximately 900 were from postal workers.

As the deadline for comments approached, however, many comments from APWU members were not posted. That’s because the DOL received approximately 3,000 additional submissions in the days preceding the cutoff, according to Michel Smyth, the Regulatory Analysis team leader for the DOL. All of the comments will be posted in the coming weeks, he said.

The more recently posted comments included briefs from unions and employers, rather than identical or sample messages from individuals.

“I applaud APWU members for making their voices heard on this important issue,” said union President William Burrus. “We fought long and hard for the FMLA. We don’t intend to allow it to be gutted.”

Legislative Director Myke Reid praised the efforts of the APWU’s recently hired grassroots coordinators, who worked with locals and state organizations to encourage union members to express their views. “This was a solid effort — one we can all be proud of,” he said. “Of course, it remains to be seen whether the Bush administration will heed our concerns.” 

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