A Successful Convention, and Motivation to Grow our Local and State Power

Debby Szeredy

September 10, 2022

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APWU National Conventions are always uplifting for everyone, and the 26th Biennial Convention was all that and more. This is our union democracy in action. I was honored to chair during some of the discussions on our resolutions during three of the four days. Overall, I believe our delegates were in the driver’s seat, voting on the needs for a better future for our workers and for our communities. It was clear that delegates were sick of the degraded service standards that continue to get worse, the raising of postal rates, and concerned about the future consolidation and closure plans of DeJoy and its effect on our jobs and our communities. 

Special events occurred after the convention sessions, such as Wednesday’s “Protecting Ourselves and Our Workplace, Organizing Young Workers on Union Power and Climate Justice” workshop. Two young workers, Teresa Marie Oller and Travis Epes from the Portland Area Local, OR, led the workshop.

APWU has updated our Climate Justice Network, and we’ve collaborated with the Labor Network for Sustainability (LNS) to conduct organizing surveys for the Young Workers Listening Project. We will meet again via Zoom in the next six weeks to discuss results of the survey and future actions we can take.

Climate justice includes getting rid of fossil fuel pollution from one of the largest postal fleets, providing jobs and training to our workers, while protecting our country. The postal service can participate in climate justice by providing solar on postal plant roofs, postal solar jobs, protecting workers’ lives and our community from natural disasters, and toxic, hostile environmental exposures at work. If you’re interested in signing on to the network, contact me at dszeredy@apwu.org or by office phone 202-842-4250, and we will add you to the network.

Thanks, Teresa and Travis, for your willingness to bring worker power back onto the workroom floor, and to provide assistance in reaching out to our Young Workers to actively participate. 

During the preconvention workshops I, along with our second senior NBA Shirley Taylor from the Western Region, facilitated a Leadership Development Workshop. We had union activists that were very eager to share and participate in ways to develop old and new leadership skills that could be shared at the local level. The leaders that attended also wanted our members to stand up, support, and be activists and bystanders against the hostile work environment. So many of our APWU family have had to deal with hostile work environments for oh-so-long!  

Our Local and State leaders need your support and love. Union work is God’s work. It is spiritually and morally all about protecting our postal family, protecting democracy, and providing safe living wage jobs into the future. I want to personally thank NBA Shirley Taylor for an awesome job at the Leadership Development Workshop. 

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