From the Field

November 19, 2019

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(This article first appeared in the November/December 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.

“There is more to a progressive union than achieving and enforcing a contract. We have to do better when it comes to the plight of others. We must direct some of our energy and fight in our communities as well. How can we as postal employees expect the public to back our issues and agendas if we do not get involved with and or address theirs? Getting out in the communities can give us a chance to show that we as postal workers do not just care about delivering the mail but that we also have compassion for the people in whom we are entrusted to provide the delivery service to. What better way to get the word out that the U.S. MAIL IS NOT FOR SALE than to be working hand in hand with our community members… Together, with the public’s help, we can save our postal service.” -- Benita Anthony, Jacksonville BMC/NDC Local (FL) 7041, Director of Research & Education, The Local View

“The cries of privatization are growing stronger and more strident. If you think it couldn’t happen, think again. We have to start making better choices. We have to elect politicians who have our best interests at heart. We have to pay attention to the bills affecting the Postal Service that are in the House and Senate. Don’t be afraid to write to these people whom you have elected to represent you. There is strength in numbers. We need to work together as a union to make sure our voice is heard.” — Shelia Patton-Harris, Saint Louis (MO) Gateway District Area Local Editor, Press On

“In the past 50 years, postal workers have a proud history of winning major fights – from the Great Postal Strike of 1970 to saving 6-day delivery, to keeping post offices open, to stopping Staples and defeating the McHenry Amendment to outlaw postal banking. Fighting against privatization is a fight we can and must win. The fight is ours and the time is now!”
--Chuck Zlatkin, New York Metro Area Postal Union Director of Communications, The Union Mail

“Last month people who worked at the plant were all given shirts by management that said #postalproud in very small print on the front. After receiving the shirts we were told on Tour 2, via standup, that we all had to wear our shirts on that following Friday. The reason they wanted everyone in ‘uniform’ was so management could take a picture, which in my opinion is anti-union propaganda, to show all their higher ups how ‘happy we all are’ in Tucson. Happy enough to even take a picture showing how satisfied we are and how much we support what management is doing from top to bottom. We all know that is anything but true and I spoke to our members and then hit our Facebook page.

The message was clear and concise. If you’re happy with [local management and the work environment] then by all means wear the shirt you were given... If you are not, wear a union shirt or a red shirt to show we are more than just pawns in their little games.

Long story short, so many people showed up in union gear they canceled our part of the photo and decided to just take the picture with local management only…

We are much stronger when we are united. This was a clear indication of that. Maybe next time they will think twice and know that buying a shirt is not a substitute for fair treatment, good wages and a safe work environment.” — Michael Moriconi, Tucson Area Local (AZ) Clerk Craft Director, The Pulse

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