How to Proceed When Considering a Merger

Elizabeth Powell

August 27, 2021

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(This article first appeared in the September-October issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

There may be various reasons why a local may want or need to contemplate a merger. Whether it is a result of decline in membership or elected officers retiring or resigning, merger options should be considered.

Additionally, when the structure and future of a local is at risk or administration and representation of the local is not maintained, merger options should be considered.

When a local union is no longer able to offer the representation it was chartered to provide, the members should consider the APWU’s merger procedures. Locals who are contemplating merger options can obtain a copy of the Merger Guidelines by contacting the Secretary- Treasurer’s department or visiting the Secretary-Treasurer’s page on

APWU Merger Guidelines provides the following procedures depending on the local’s circumstance(s):

Forming An Area local

Forming an area local allows two separate locals to consolidate. This is a good option when the locals have experienced leaders and stewards, but do not have the sufficient income to carry out their activities.

Combining resources provides greater possibility to expand leadership opportunities for interested and available members to provide representation and administer the local.

Local/Area Local Merging with a Local/Area Local

When a local or area local merges with another local or area local, all offices represented by the incoming local or area local are considered one entity. If that former local or area local seeks to disaffiliate, all offices of the entity would be part of that request and not just a specific office.

Dissolving a Local to Become Members-at- Large (MALs)

A local may seek to dissolve their charter and become Members-at-Large (MALs) within the state organization.

MAL representation is provided by the state representatives and also have access to the information and resources provided by the state organization.

How to Proceed When Considering a Merger

Members must meet the required criteria and complete the necessary forms for the specific process chosen and a vote by the membership must be conducted. Additional provisions may be required if the merger crosses over boundary lines or across state borders. Authorization from the National Executive Board may be required for the merger.

Collective Action Teams

Local/State Collective Action Teams (CATs) continue to be established across the country. CAT liaisons are tasked with assisting local/state presidents and mobilizing their membership for National APWU campaigns, solidarity efforts, and non-member organizing. Currently CAT teams are focused on bringing awareness to the APWU contract negotiations by participating in APWU Gear Days!

Building strength and solidarity on the workroom floor is crucial in negotiating a contract that represents our strength. This is Our Union, Our Contract, Our Future! Be a part of a winning team. Join in and stand with other brothers and sisters who are CAT team members. Everybody wants to be a CAT! Learn more on the 'APWU: Our Union, Our Future, Our Contract' page on

2022 APWU Convention

The Secretary-Treasurer’s department continues to solidify plans for the 2022 National Convention. Working around the uncertain circumstances as a direct result of the pandemic, the safety and health of the delegates and guests will be in the forefront. Information will be provided as it is finalized in the coming months and the official convention call will be announced in the American Postal Worker and on These continue to be challenging times and adapting to a new normal will take some time. However, we accept the challenge and have always persevered.

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