The Benefits of "Being Union"

Anna Smith

March 19, 2024

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Most postal workers go to work, clock in, and do their fair day’s work. In return, they receive pay for their efforts every other week. Most postal workers have a pretty satisfying postal career, retire, and move on to their sunset years.

A vast majority of postal workers also spend their entire federal service being a dues-paying union member. But far too many do not know what “being union” is really about. Sadly, some see “the union” as a third-party kind of legal aid of sorts.

“Being union” is understanding that we, the workers, band together to stand up to our employer and demand safe working conditions, livable wages, and work-hour guarantees. It’s about combining our forces to deal with a quasi-government corporation.

“Being union” is realizing that, as a union, we have a legal standing under the federal labor laws of this country. The collectiveness of our joining together gives us legal recognition, under the National Labor Relations Act, to “bargain” – with all of the word’s synonyms (barter, negotiate, haggle, deal, discuss terms, understanding etc.) – with our employer.

This year, our vacation leave, sick leave, health benefits, salary, step increases, life insurance, seniority protections, lay off protections, work hour guarantees, wash-up time, and overtime, to name a few, are all on the table when we go up against our employer in contract negotiations. All the benefits that we currently enjoy, and hope to maintain or improve on, are not just given to us by a benevolent boss. All this comes to us from us “bargaining” for them through being in a union.

For us to have stronger bargaining strength in our upcoming negotiations, we must be putting forth the effort into bringing every non-member into the fold by asking them to join the union and giving them the opportunity to stand with us and to be involved.

Our non-member coworkers are either with us or they are against us, and everything we have and continue to fight for. Choosing neutrality is not an option, our employer considers every non-member to be on their side. ■

Building Union Power – We are the American Postal Workers Union!

For more information on the APWU Building Union Power organizing campaign, visit

Join us in our Building Union Power organizing drive to sign up 5,000 new APWU members between April 1-June 25, when contract negotiations begin.

Simply take a screenshot of the QR code below and save it to your photo album. When you talk to your non-member coworkers about joining the union, pull up the photo with the code and have them scan it so they can fill out the membership form.

Members who sign up non-member coworkers have the chance to receive APWU union gear. If you signed up one or more non-members, please email: and include your name, Employee ID Number (EIN), your local, and the name of the non-member(s) you signed up to join.

  • Sign up 1-2 non-members to receive an APWU t-shirt.
  • Sign up 3-4 non-members to receive an APWU t-shirt and a thermal mug.
  • Sign up 5 or more non-members to receive an APWU t-shirt, a thermal mug, and a lunch tote!

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