From the Field

July 24, 2018

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(This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 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.

“Did you know unions are what brought races and genders together more than any other type of organization, including government? We’re all brothers and sisters in the union. And we don’t have to be forced into this unity. In the common struggle for a better life, a decent income and respectable retirement, the divisions fade away.” — Loren Adams, Arkansas Postal Workers Union Editor, The Arkansas Postal Worker

"Just remember that your workplace benefits and wages are because of the union. If you have ever taken a day of annual or sick leave, received overtime pay, converted to career from PSE, were hired as a PSE, receive holiday pay, bid a job – you can thank the union! We are a team! Our union will only be as strong as each of us makes it!" — Amy Puhalski, Western Michigan Area Local President, The WMAL Voice

“The union isn’t just the officers and stewards working in the office, we are simply your representatives .. We need all of us standing in solidarity to make our union work. In the Minneapolis area we are doing a good job. We have several new members and that shows me people believe in our union and want to belong.” — Teresa Hable, Minneapolis Area Local Assistant Clerk Craft Director Tour 3, The Northern Light

“The message to management is that we are one united workforce vested in the success of the Postal Service. United we stand! Remember, the union is not just the stewards and officers. The union is all of us working together to bring justice to our workplace.” — Grace Baer, Southwest Florida Area Local Clerk Craft Director, The Eagle’s Eye

“USPS continues to hammer us with the employee opinion surveys. ‘BEWARE,’ don’t be fooled by what it’s called. We already have many ways for input. This is just another way to circumvent the union from bargaining for their members.” — Joe Lewis, State President, Nevada Postal Workers Union

“Management continues to do bargaining unit clerk work daily. This is happening at the plant and at most, if not all, stations. We have filed multiple grievances on the 1.6 and 7.2 violations. These grievances have resulted and continue to result in the post office paying thousands of dollars as remedy to these violations. Regardless of what management wants to tell us, the clerks in the Denver Region are understaffed!” — Laviena Vargas, Director Clerk Craft Denver Metro Area Local, The Mountaineer

“There is more to being a union member than just paying your dues. When was the last time you participated in a local membership meeting? Notifying your steward or local officers of possible violations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)? Signing up nonmembers? Volunteering to assist your local union as a committee member or just help with promoting union functions? Inquire as to being a steward to help police the CBA? We are in this together as we face the current challenges and the challenges that are in the future.” — Larry DeNayer, Area Local 960 (CA) Editor, 960 Dispatch

“Any employee with common sense can see that we need more help in mail processing. On the maintenance side, PMs (preventive maintenance) are not being done like they used to be which causes more down time. In some cases, management just runs the equipment nonstop. If management is requiring you to do mail searches with equipment running, [exercise your right to work safely and] file a safety hazard report immediately.” — Edward Traeger, President Jacksonville (FL) BMC Local The Local View

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