From the Field

September 12, 2019

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(This article first appeared in the September/October 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.

“Do you have what it takes? Do you have the guts to stand up to management? I’m not asking you all to go to war as it may sound, only do what is the right thing. What I mean is, don’t let management violate the contract without challenging them on it. If you don’t want to go one on one with them, I get it, that’s what we are for, but don’t turn your head and let it go without reporting it. Don’t let a postmaster or supervisor bully or harass a fellow coworker! Stand up to local management and demand they treat you with dignity and respect! Sure, you can look the other way and say ‘I don’t want to get involved,’ but more than likely…it’s going to be you next! Stand united and stand together to show management that you will not be talked down to and disrespected and you won’t allow them to do the same to your co-workers.” — Jerry Waldron, Beckley Area Local (WV) Vice President, The Water Cooler

“We must do better when it comes to voting for people that may or may not have control over our lives and our finances. We had people die to give (all of us) the right to vote and we should always cast a ballot for the person or persons of our choice. When we sit home and do not vote, then we normally get just what we deserve. I am not saying that every time we cast a ballot our person is going to come out the winner but the most important thing is that we voted.” — Sara Witherspoon, Alabama Postal Workers Union Vice President, The Alabama Flash

“One thing I am seeing all over Kansas is the horrible laundry service [for mop heads, cleaning cloths, towels, etc.] that the USPS has contracted out. …If your office has dirty laundry that has been sitting around awhile and not picked up, please inform your local management and then write up a 1767 form. Please forward the form to me so that I may file a safety grievance. There is absolutely NO excuse for dirty laundry to be left sitting for weeks and months, as well as custodians having to use dirty cloths or mop heads. Using dirty laundry causes unsanitary, unsafe conditions for ALL employees in the office.” — Melinda Scott, Kansas Postal Workers Union Maintenance Craft Director, The Jayhawk Fed

“Organized labor is the strongest foundation that working people have ever known. Standing together has always provided us with the strength to survive. The power of the Labor Movement is like no other. We need you to stay involved, educate yourself on labor issues, and vote accordingly. It is no longer enough to say, ‘I pay my dues.’ Solidarity has stood the test of time. Let us all work to protect our union, the middle class, picnics, a simpler way of life and the American Dream.” — Doug Brown, Indiana Postal Workers Union President, The IPWU Dispatch

“If you have been to any retail establishment lately you cannot deny that automation is encroaching on your life…We can fight back. We, the working classes, have the power to protect and create jobs in our economy. The first thing we should do is stop using those automated machines. When I go to the bank, I want a live teller. The concierge may try to steer me to the ATM, but I want to create jobs. I want to keep people gainfully employed. The ATM is unacceptable. I’ll wait the ten extra minutes for a teller. Tell the supermarket chains that you won’t scan and bag your own groceries. We don’t work for them! How did things become so backwards that we are now paying supermarket chains for the privilege of scanning and bagging our own groceries? Get them to scan and bag your groceries. Your money has power, shop where your money is appreciated and respected.” — Tom McMenamy, Brooklyn Local (NY) President, The Brooklyn Bridge

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