APWU Organizing Victory!

January 23, 2020

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(This article first appeared in the January/February 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

HRSSC delegation with President Dimondstein and APWU organizer Rich Shelley (second from right) in front of APWU Headquarters, before meeting with Postmaster General Brennan

On Tuesday Dec. 17, a large group of non-supervisory USPS Shared Services Personnel Processing Specialists at the USPS Human Resources Shared Services Center (HRSSC) in Greensboro, NC voted to join the APWU! The margin of victory was an overwhelming 161-47!

The vote was the culmination of a six-month organizing campaign initiated by employees at the HRSSC. The employees are fed up with their current “pay for performance” system, but until now they lacked their union to bargain with postal management for needed change.

“We were just tired of the way we were treated, as far as work environment, not getting raises for two or three years in a row,” said Susie Sheppard, an employee at the facility. “The last time, they told us that they weren’t giving anybody raises, and then we found out that some people got raises. That took everybody over the edge, and we decided to contact APWU.”

The decision to contact APWU over a different union was a “no brainer,” said Sheppard. “APWU didn’t have to prove themselves because they have a good track record. The APWU already has a long-standing relationship with the Postal Service, so we thought that would be a good fit for us.”

The employees’ internal organizing committee worked tirelessly to educate co-workers, sign union cards, hold meetings, distribute flyers and do everything needed to win collective bargaining rights. Their efforts included a delegation of six employees who took their own time and traveled to Washington, DC to join President Mark Dimondstein in a meeting with Postmaster General Megan Brennan, to ensure their rights to organize were fully respected.

“The APWU enthusiastically welcomes the HRSSC Specialists into our union family and we have already issued the new local union its charter,” said President Mark Dimondstein. “We salute the determined work of the organizing committee and the guidance of APWU national organizer Rich Shelley in bringing this campaign to victory. In addition, I commend the Postal Service for respecting the legal right of the employees to unionize without interference.”

“We’re looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship [with APWU],” said Ed Swaim, a new HRSSC APWU member. “What’s really been a pleasure on our end is to see our employees come together toward a common goal.”

The APWU leadership looks forward to working with these newly-organized postal employees to achieve a union contract that respects and rewards the important work they perform. It is a victory for all postal workers that these employees understand and appreciate the collective strength of workers joining together in the APWU.

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