APWU, NALC and UAW Request Postal Board of Governors Respect the Right to Organize

August 27, 2021

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(This article first appeared in the September-October issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

On August 4, the APWU, National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and United Auto Workers (UAW) wrote a joint letter to the Postal Board of Governors, regarding the upcoming plans to develop the next generation of postal delivery vehicles. The contract to build these vehicles was awarded to Oshkosh Defense, which employs 1,000 workers unionized with the UAW at their plant in Wisconsin.

However, Oshkosh Defense plans on building the new fleet of postal vehicles in South Carolina, using non-union labor. In their letter to the Board of Governors, the three unions requested the Postal Board direct Oshkosh Defense to instead build the fleet at their unionized facility in Wisconsin.

“Working under a union contract gives Oshkosh’s workers a voice, job security, and the ability to negotiate over wages and benefits,” the unions wrote. “Our unions value hard work and are committed to making sure our brothers and sisters around the country have the same rights to organize and bargain collectively as we do. NALC, APWU and the UAW are united in calling for the next USPS fleet of vehicles to be union made in Wisconsin.

“Additionally, wherever the vehicles are built, we urge the Postal Service to direct Oshkosh Defense to negotiate an agreement with the UAW to ensure the company remains strictly neutral in any union organizing efforts, and workers are given the right to an efficient and fair majority sign-up process,” the letter continued. “The same principles of neutrality and non-interference in union organizing that applies to employees within the Postal Service should be applied to the employees of large contractors, such as Oshkosh Defense.”

Further updates on the new delivery fleet will be posted on apwu.org. For more information on the new vehicles, see the MVS Division column.

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