Greetings, APWU Family

Amy Puhalski

January 8, 2024

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I want to take a moment to introduce myself and tell you all a little about me and how I became involved. I began my postal career in October 1993 as a part-time flexible clerk in the Grand Rapids, MI installation, and immediately joined this great union. I am a proud member of the Western Michigan Area Local.

I was hired just prior to Peak Season, so I had little time to become acclimated to my new work environment. Peak hit and so did the 84 hours per week. There were many times in that December that I thought about walking away. I kept thinking about the pay and all the benefits for my family and for my future.

A few years later, a management official decided to change our break and lunch times. We expressed to him that the time change would not work for the service, and it would delay mail. He did not want to hear what we had to say, so the very next day we left for lunch as scheduled and, upon our return, there were hampers of mail left that did not make dispatch. Postal management was furious and proceeded to write each of us up for delaying the mail. I immediately requested my steward, and from that day forward I knew I wanted to get involved. I became a union steward and began representing the employees on the workroom floor.

I was elected as my local’s executive vice president in 2005, and then became the local president in 2011 until I was appointed to the position of Central Regional Coordinator. I have served as a state officer, and on many local, state, and national committees. I am beyond thankful for my appointment, and look forward to representing the Central Region.

We Need You!

How do you get involved? Call your local union office and offer your assistance. Remember “we” are the union, and no matter what capacity we are serving, we are all here to make a difference. Whether you want to become a steward, officer, committee member, volunteer for events, or simply show up to a union meeting, it is an important part of keeping our union alive and well. Now more than ever, we need more activists to stand up and fight to continue to improve our rights and our working conditions.

Many of you are starting to feel the effects of DeJoy’s 10-year plan. Some offices are realigning hours and off days, some are consolidating, and others are having excessing events. All of which have an adverse impact on our lives and our families. We need eyes and ears on the workroom floor. We need your voices to be heard, and we need you all to stand up and fight for our negotiated rights. There is no time to say, “that is not our work,” we need to perform all work assigned to us. We need to pay attention to ensure others are not performing our work and, if we see it, we need to address it.

In the short period of time that I have been in this position, I have noticed so many jobs out there that belong to APWU-represented employees and yet they are being performed by mail handlers, carriers, and even management. APWU family we need you to protect our work.

In closing, I look forward to meeting many of you in the future. We are all in this fight together and trust me, as your regional coordinator, I am here to fight for and with you. ■

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