Be There for Your APWU Family

Debby Szeredy

November 1, 2022

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(This article first appeared in the November/December 2022 issue of the American Postal Worker Magazine)

It is the holiday season and our postal workers will be stretched to their limit. Then we add a hostile work environment, long hours, and short staffing. Postal workers worry about their health, how to meet their family obligations, and how the Postmaster General (PMG) is taking the Postal Service down a slippery slope, adversely slowing down our tried and true high service standards, closing rural and urban post offices, and consolidating plants.

We used to have a mail processing network that backed each other up with the necessary equipment at every facility. We cancelled our raw mail, postmarked it, processed it on our DBCS, sorting down to carrier routes, providing the best mail service within each SCF area. Peak season, elections, and holidays are where we shone. Outrageous overtime didn’t exist, late trips were low, we had more time to spend with our families, and all mail was cleared each night. We had time to work Operation Santa Claus; we had holiday festivities in our work areas with our co-workers. Our customers really appreciated us. We need to build our union power back. We need you now! Make a New Year’s resolution to become active in the APWU.

Do you have equal concern for each other? If one person suffers, every person suffers. The people in our communities need to work with us, and we need them to know we continue to be essential and we need their help to fight the PMG. There will be blessings when you care and work together for a better Postal Service.

I know there are times when you’re worn out, thinking you can’t take another step, and your schedule is so full. Many times, that is also the feeling of your union representatives. Yet our collective will and perseverance continue. We are hoping that more workers will join us.

We can’t give up on each other and allow management’s continued toxic work environment. Our union is only as powerful as our members’ strength on the workroom floor. If you only knew how important it is to stand and work together, you can achieve the impossible. All of you can be true leaders and make a real difference. Reignite your passion and volunteer to help power up your union local and/or state.

“Leadership is helping any group of two or more people achieve their common goals,” says Les McKeown, author of Do Lead/Share Your Vision. Inspire Others. Achieve the Impossible. You can lead by helping the union while you’re at work. There is plenty of work to be done.

You can wake up every morning filled with excitement because you are a part of a group of union activists, with a plan that works toward making our workroom floors safer, fighting for better staffing, more jobs, and a better working environment.

We are all leaders and need to vote in our union elections. It’s important to find out about the candidates just like in the elections for Congress and for the U.S. President. It is sad to see that in 2022, out of 192,429 union ballots that went out to members, approximately 26,397 members sent ballots back. In the 1980s, 1990s, and up until 2010, we would get between 60,000 to 106,000 members participating. We’re losing our members’ activism. We thank the 26,397 members that voted. We hope all members vote in the Nov. 8 midterm elections and vote by mail. Wishing you strength, compassion, and union activism through the holiday season and into the New Year!

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