A Bold Move to Attract Young Union Activists

March 22, 2010

Share this article

In a dramatic attempt to encourage greater participation by young workers, APWU President William Burrus has announced that the national union will help defray the costs associated with sending members 35 or younger to the union’s 2010 National Convention, which will be held in Detroit, Aug. 23 to 27.

The Postal Service’s financial challenges, along with productivity increases, have virtually halted hiring, Burrus noted, and, as a result, the postal workforce has aged significantly.

But the union “depends upon a steady influx of activists to continue first-class representation far into the future.” The APWU must make a concentrated effort to encourage a high percentage of young employees to get involved, he said.

“Twenty years from now, when the current local, state and national officers have moved on,” new leaders will be called upon to guide the union, Burrus observed.

“To assist locals in their efforts to include the next generation of union activists at the 2010 national convention, I commit to sharing the costs of local union members 35 years or younger who have not been elected or selected as delegates.”

Toward that end, the national union will assume the cost of transportation and lodging (in double-occupancy rooms) for members 35 or younger to attend. In addition, the national union will pay 50 percent of lost time for 35-or-younger attendees from locals that compensate delegates for their lost time when they participate in the convention.

The union president reserved the right to limit the number of “special participants” allotted to each local if the cost becomes excessive, but guaranteed that any local that submits names will receive assistance for at least one 35-or-younger participant.

If the young participants have not been officially elected as delegates they cannot be granted voice or vote at the convention, Burrus noted; however, he will request the consent of the delegates to allow the special participants access to the convention floor. The young attendees will be provided with special credentials.

To qualify, locals must submit the names and Employee I.D. numbers of participants with certification that they will be 35 years old or younger at the time of the convention. Selections should be sent to sduyck@apwu.org as soon as possible.

Stay in touch with your union

Subscribe to receive important information from your union.