Conducting Union Business During COVID-19

Elizabeth Powell

July 1, 2020

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(This article first appeared in the July/August 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

As we navigate working through the various circumstances COVID-19 has placed upon all of us, finding and utilizing acceptable resources that will permit local and state presidents to conduct union business is important. To assist local and state presidents in continuing with union business, the Secretary-Treasurer’s Department held Zoom Meeting trainings for state and local officers.

The training showed how to utilize Zoom as a resource to facilitate local union meetings, conventions and elections, and assist officers in fulfilling constitutional provisions and LMRDA requirements. The Zoom Meeting training covered how to plan your meetings and the various features available to use during your Zoom meetings. State and local presidents also received governance requirements for Zoom meetings and a participant guide to use as a reference. Zoom is not new technology. However, what has brought the use of Zoom to the forefront is the constraints COVID-19 has placed upon the ability for officials and members to attend union meetings, conventions and conduct elections.

I have requested states who postponed conventions to notify my office of any dates they have rescheduled conventions to, to avoid any potential conflicts and allow for the election of delegates prior to the National Convention. In spite of the many inconveniences this pandemic may have caused, it is important for our officers and members to stay safe and well.

Now What?

The Postal Service has been suffering from financial hardships created in part by modern technology and an unrelenting focus on privatization since the 2006 congressional mandate placed on the Postal Service that requires the USPS to prefund retiree health benefits. This bipartisan vote was partly designed to financially break and chip away at services of the oldest, and highest rated public institution that our customers trust and rely on to deliver their basic needs. Postal workers must unite and demand relief, especially with the impact of COVID-19, which has financially devastated the USPS.

The time to become concerned about our welfare as workers is not after a pandemic or a divisive appointment in the position of Postmaster General, but before it happens. Our alarm, however, should not just be for our jobs and our potential loss of benefits, but for all working-class people.

I believe that the role of APWU members should be to join with other groups and unions that are confronting injustice head on. There is a need for education and communication to understand our interest as postal workers, not only to enlighten and motivate current members, but to also broaden our base by bringing in new activists.

Wake up postal workers, we have social injustice and economic injustice to contend with that directly affects APWU members, whether we like it or not!

APWU Executive Board Reschedules the National Convention for October 2021

The National Executive Board has made the decision to reschedule the 2020 APWU National Convention to Monday, October 4, 2021 through Thursday, October 7, 2021.

The National Convention will be held at the Bally’s Las Vegas (3645 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109) and adjoining Paris Las Vegas (3655 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109.)

The Convention will immediately follow the All-Craft Conference, which is scheduled to be held on Thursday, September 30, 2021 through Saturday, October 2, 2021, at the same location. Please continue to send any and all resolutions to

Inquiries related to the rescheduling of the Convention can be sent to Hannah Decker at or

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