Facing Challenges Together

March 18, 2020

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

Greetings Brothers and Sisters from the Eastern Region officers and staff. I would personally like to thank all our members who participated in the recent APWU elections, and especially those who supported me in being elected your new Eastern Region Coordinator. I look forward to working together with everyone during these challenging times as we move forward.

Thank you to Mike Gallagher, our outgoing Eastern Region Coordinator, for all his years of dedication and service to the American Postal Workers Union and for his continued support as I navigate this new position. I wish him the best in his retirement.

Humanity in the Workplace

I am a people person and enjoy working with others to get the best results. During my travels, I heard many stories from members about degrading and disrespectful treatment from management. I believe we need to work with our employer to bring back humanity in the workplace. This is a positive approach that will hopefully foster healthy working relationships.

If you experience a hostile work environment, contact your local union representative and complete a Form 1767 (Report of Hazard, Unsafe Condition or Practice). These forms are required to be on the workroom floor and easily accessible for all employees. Please remember to keep a copy for your records to share with your union.

The Importance of Education, Training, Communication and Networking

I am a firm believer in education and training for all, good communication with one another, and networking. These practices create a solid foundation affording the best representation and leadership. We can learn from each other, and everyone has something to offer. Entertaining this methodology will allow for our best efforts to be revealed.

I reached out to each state and local president in the Eastern Region to create a line of communication to keep folks up to date. I sent out an information contact sheet and requested it be completed and returned. Thank you to those who have responded, and I hope the remaining folks will follow suit. I look forward to expanding this effort by using other forms of communication, such as Zoom, to further enhance our network. Any state or local that needs assistance, I am here for you, please do not hesitate to contact me at 856-740-0633 or ajjones@apwu.org.

Article 12 Rearing Its Ugly Head

Upon taking office, I walked into multiple Article 12.5.C.5 notices (excess outside craft or installation) in the Maintenance Craft. These notices failed to provide the union with the required 6-month advanced notice whenever possible. They also failed to provide the basic information necessary to support an Area/Region meeting no less than 90 days prior to the move date of Feb. 29, 2020. Therefore, no meetings took place, effectively holding off any excess of employees for now. Some of these events may end up being canceled or reduced to local impacts. We will continue to assist locals in fighting any improper excess attempts by the employer.

I also received communications from the Postal Service requesting that the parties meet at the Area/Region level regarding potential impacts when no official Article 12 implementation had been issued. The union held strong, and will only agree to meet on actual events we have been properly notified about after the necessary information has been provided in advance. Recently the union was notified that Article 12 events from Nov. 2019 will not endure any excess (outside of installation or craft) until the next move date of June 2020.

I would like to thank our National Maintenance Craft officers: Director Idowu Balogun, Asst. Maintenance Director Jimmie Waldon, and Asst. Maintenance Director Terry Martinez, along with Eastern Region Maintenance Craft National Business Agent Jason Treier, as well as Northeast Region Coordinator Tiffany Foster, Central Region Coordinator Sharyn Stone, Southern Region Coordinator Kennith Beasley, and Western Region Coordinator Omar Gonzalez, who have all come together, committed to each other. We are working together to fight back against this recent attack on Maintenance Craft jobs.

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