APWU Retirees Still Fighting for Justice

Nancy Olumekor

November 12, 2021

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(This article first appeared in the November/December issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

The APWU Retirees Department was saddened by the death of Alfred “Al” LaBrecque, who passed peacefully on August 18, 2021, at the age of 84. Al was born into union activism in Flint, MI; his parents were among the leaders of the 1937 Sit Down Strike which gave birth to the United Auto Workers (UAW).

Al was a leader, mentor and fighter on behalf of APWU members throughout his 60-plus years of union membership. After serving in the U.S. Army for two years, Al first joined the Postal Service in 1957, serving as a clerk at the main post office in Flint. During his 33-year postal career, he held many local union leadership roles, including steward, vice president and president.

During the past 25 years he vigorously advocated for retiree issues. Al was elected as one of the first APWU retiree delegates to the National Convention. He never lost his voice – he repeatedly contacted Congress demanding that they take the right steps to Save the Post Office and secure retiree benefits, among many other issues. Al used his voice by writing letters to public and union media outlets, including in his “Personal View” column in the Michigan Messenger.

In his last column, Brother Al stressed the importance of the Postal Service in protecting democracy through its delivery of mail-in ballots in the 2020 election, with mail-in voting a key target in voter suppression efforts.

“GOP voter suppression bills here, there, everywhere! 49 states. 368 bills to suppress the vote. Outlandish restrictions. Yet, the motherload of all voter suppression continues unabated right under our collective noses,” he wrote. “The 2020 success of the largest, most secure election under the most trying conditions (i.e., midst of a viral pandemic, holiday mailing season, deluge of e-commerce packages) in American history is primarily due to voters’ ability to cast their no excuse ballots by mail…No more USPS, no more voting by mail…the ultimate in universal voter suppression, in one fell swoop…

“The U.S. Postal Service, The Right to Vote by Mail, Our American Democracy; all inextricably bound together and in serious peril,” he continued. “The American mailing and voting public deserve to know.”

His passion of recognizing and preserving the important role that the USPS has to every citizen must continue with all of us. Al’s words are a call to action now more than ever because of the recent decision by the USPS to slow down service standards.

Brother Al is survived by his wife, Michelle, his children, eight grandchildren, brothers and sisters.




COLA Increase for Retirees

The 2022 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for CSRS annuitants is 5.9% and 4.9% for FERS annuitants.

Thank You!

Thank you postal workers, for showing up and moving the mail in service to America. Thank you, essential workers who are our families, our friends, and our neighbors for your continued service. Thank you to all the veterans and all the active military personnel for your service. As we look back over the past 20 months, I am mindful of the many great unionists that APWU members and retirees have lost. The women and men who help to build this union and without their great work and commitment we would not be here.

As another year ends, I wish each of you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Good Health and Happiness in the New Year.


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