From the Field

March 18, 2020

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(This article first appeared in the March/April 2020 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 (PPA). For more information on the PPA, visit or email

"‘Solidarity’ is a unionist term. There’s no doubt about it. When you read over the words of fellow workers who attend training workshops, you’ll see it. When you read an article or letter-to-the-editor written by a fellow worker, you might see them end with it. We show solidarity with other unions when we shop at unionized retailers and grocers. We show solidarity when we boycott products and businesses where strikes or contract fights are ongoing. We show solidarity when we show up to each other’s pickets. But what is solidarity? I think it’s another word for family…Every time I attend union training, I’m always pleasantly surprised by some of the people I meet. We have amazing talent within our ranks. We have amazing support. But sometimes we forget that. The union is not some mysterious thing. It’s us – all of us. Get involved. Come to a meeting. Volunteer for a committee. Not everyone has to be a steward in order to get involved. We’ll get to know each other more and you’ll be making the union stronger.” – Cole Butterfield, Eugene (OR) Area Local Editor, The Windowcase

“Although the public Postal Service serves an essential part of the fabric of the country, the forces of greed and their allies in the White House are insidiously mobilizing to implement plans which pose an unprecedented danger to the status quo of the Postal Service and our current livelihoods. It is our duty as active APWU members to grab the baton from the dedicated APWU unionists who came before us and fight the good fight – just like they did – against these plans. We owe it to them, we owe it to each other, and we owe it to future generations of postal workers who deserve no less. — Chris Czubakowski, APWU of Wisconsin Legislative Director, Badger Bulletin

“Your steward has a full-time job within the Postal Service. You cannot expect them to take a text message from you and file a grievance. That is not fair to your steward. If you request a steward, your boss must get a hold of the steward’s boss to get you and the steward together. This gets the steward away from their job to help you and gives them time to investigate and file your grievance. Do not be scared or intimidated by management! Look at it this way: you have 750 brothers and sisters behind you! You will never be alone! We have all the power in the world when we are unified!” – Michael Bates, Des Moines Area Local President DMI News & Views

“Representation does not just mean the grievance process. It is providing information to members that make them fully understand what it means to be a member of a labor organization; that representation also includes processes that are available to them, benefits of membership, and the ability to keep them fully informed.” – Jeff Greenlee San Antonio (TX) Alamo Area Local Secretary-Treasurer, Alamo Area Local Dispatch

“Unions are suddenly becoming more popular! How about that! Well, you and I are ahead of the curve. We’ve known all along. But why is that? Maybe people are finally realizing that the trickle down that was promised with the 2017 tax cuts failed to trickle down in the form of increased compensation and benefits. Maybe people were actually watching and found that most of the money saved by corporate America went to stock buy backs by corporations rather than to increasing jobs. Maybe people are just tired of being treated like crap at work and serving at management’s discretion.” — Richard Haefner, Minnesota Postal Workers Union President, Minnesota Postal Worker

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