From the Field

January 16, 2019

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This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

Below are quotes from various APWU local and state publications throughout the country. All the publications listed are part of the Postal Press Association.

“It saddens me that so many nonmembers, maybe because of their age and naivety have no understanding of the important role the APWU has had in providing postal workers with a living wage, health insurance, workplace safety, and contractual and career protections and more. All these benefits they receive so freely and then take without regard to the fact they were bought and paid for by the blood, sweat, and tears, as well as the dues of their union member coworkers and predecessors. Shame on them. God bless the APWU.” — Robert Feuser, Elgin Local (IL) President, The Illinois Postal Worker

“Get involved in some way with your livelihood. Stop taking what this union and our contract provides for all of us for granted and think about the struggles it took to achieve it. Realize that our collective bargaining agreement is always being attacked by management, whether it is through violations or contract negotiations. Our union should never be taken for granted; it is a privilege and a right to be a part of.” — Linda Lane, Central New York Area Local Clerk Craft Director, Salt City Post

“If the Postal Service is privatized, or if collective bargaining rights are stripped away from postal workers, hundreds of thousands of sustaining jobs will be lost. Fewer job opportunities will be available for veterans. Postal work will be performed by a high turnover, less invested workforce. Our union did not fight for our wages and benefits out of greed; it is because the work we do is important and vital. It is because the nature of this work means that the workers will have to put up with less than ideal schedules and hard, physical work. Postal work matters and postal workers deserve to be compensated fairly. Be proud of the work you do, and take every opportunity to speak up in favor of a public, unionrepresented Postal Service.” — Michelle Burgess Heart of Illinois Area Local Clerk Craft Director, Heartbeat

“I encourage all employees, especially the newer generation, to get involved somehow, some way. You do not have to battle grievances with management. You could join a committee…help explain the importance of joining the union to nonmembers…be the eyes and ears for your steward, reporting issues and violations. There are so many things you can do. All you have to do if you are interested is ask your steward or stop in your union office.” — Sara Cart, Des Moines Area Local Member, DMI News & Views

“I am grateful to the membership of this local. Your membership in this union is critical to our efforts to secure better wages, benefits and working conditions. It is actually so much more than that. Belonging to a union also makes a statement that working people matter. We have power in numbers, power in the belief that collectively we can hold management to doing the right thing for its employees. When our union achieves gains, other postal and public sector unions can build on those gains for the benefit of their members. Your membership allows training of stewards and officers in contractual matters. Your membership allows our national officers to bargain with the employer from a position of strength.” — Russ Franklin, Salt Lake City Area Local (UT) President, Six-Bits

“Be safety conscious in everything you do. There’s only one of you, and your family and friends want and need you to return home and in one piece every day. If you see a safety issue, call your supervisor, a steward or fill out a 1767 safety form. Don’t ignore an issue and assume someone else will address it. This is our home away from home and we all need to pitch in and keep it safe! — Paul Longstreth, Tri-county Ohio Area Local (OH) Maintenance Craft Director, The Spokesman

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