Just What is APWU POWER?

Joyce B. Robinson

July 18, 2023

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The American Postal Workers Union Post Office Women for Equal Rights (APWU POWER), the women’s committee within the APWU, was founded in St. Louis, MO on April 28, 1979 and was incorporated into the APWU’s National Constitution in Detroit, Michigan in August 1980. APWU POWER’s Steering Committee consists of five APWU POWER coordinators, one from each region, who are elected at a Biennial National Convention and assist POWER committees at the local and state levels.

Why is APWU POWER Still Necessary?

The United States Post Office Statistics and Demographics reports that 51 percent of U.S. Post Office employees are women. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor force participation rate for women was 56.8 percent in 2022. West Virginia had the lowest labor force participation rate for women, at 49.5 percent. An additional three states were under 52 percent: New Mexico (50.5 percent), Mississippi (51.1 percent), and Alabama (51.3 percent).

Although women pay a large percentage of dues to the APWU, they hold fewer elected offices at the local, state, and national levels. APWU POWER assists women in obtaining the knowledge and skills needed to level the playing field and has opened doors of opportunities for women from across the country, through educational seminars, workshops, and regional conferences. As a result, POWER sisters have become actively involved in our local and state unions, and in the political process.

What about Community Involvement?

APWU POWER's involvement in community activities includes:

  • Adopting postal union families left homeless due to natural disasters;
  • Making annual monetary contributions to domestic violence agencies;
  • Contributing Christmas gift bags to the female troops, unable to travel home for the holidays;
  • Providing coats and clothing to the homeless;
  • Donating books, toiletries, etc. to schools, homeless shelters, and senior citizens’ homes; and
  • Giving monies to the Postal Employees Relief Fund to aid postal families who are victims of natural disasters.

What is APWU POWER’s “Sisters Helping Sisters” Fund?

APWU POWER’s “Sisters Helping Sisters Fund,” was established in 2005, following Hurricane Katrina, to help women and children who were left homeless due to the disaster. It was expanded in 2006 to give hope and encouragement to women and children in homeless shelters, fleeing domestic violence. The program is funded from donations received from postal workers. Since its inception, the fund has donated over $74,500 to families, charities, and domestic violence agencies, including $25,000 to the Postal Relief.

Contribute to the “Sisters Helping Sisters” Fund

If you would like to contribute to the “Sisters Helping Sisters” Fund, make a check or money order payable to Sisters Helping Sisters. Mail to: APWU POWER, 1300 L St., NW, Washington, DC 20005.

Attend APWU POWER 21st Biennial National Convention

APWU POWER’s 21st Biennial National Convention will be held by Zoom on Friday, Aug. 4, and Saturday Aug. 5, 2023. The convention will last only two (2) days, instead of the normal three (3) days. It will begin at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on both days and will conclude no later than 6:00 p.m.

Register Online: Delegates must register themselves online at www.apwu.org, click on APWU POWER 21st Biennial National Convention. Registration will be free for APWU members and retiree members paying dues.

To obtain additional information about APWU POWER, contact the Research and Education Department at jrobinson@apwu.org or the APWU POWER coordinator in your region:

Yvonne “Pat” Dotson, Central Region, yvonnedotsonapwu@gmail.com

Sherry C. McKnight, Eastern Region, Mcknight_sherry@yahoo.com

Tomineka “Shanell” Padmore, Northeast Region, Tshanell618@gmail.com

Nadine Claude-Lewis, Southern Region, nclaudelewis@yahoo.com

Michelle Pitre, Western Region, mpitreccdirector@gmail.com


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