The More Involved We Are, the More We Achieve

Anna Smith

November 15, 2023

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APWU membership is so much more than just signing an application to join. It’s about all of us having a collective voice. Union membership is about empowering ourselves to stand up for our rights, improving our working conditions, and achieving a better future. Being union means you can engage in collective decision-making, participate in democratic processes, and have a say on issues that affect your work life.

It won’t be long before we start negotiations with our employer where once again, we will be fighting to secure fair wages, benefits, and working conditions. Collectively, we must stand together to ensure that our rights are respected. This is where being a member has to be more than just signing up and paying dues.

As with any organization, there will be those who get heavily involved while others want little or no involvement. While we don’t know everyone’s personal circumstances, we do know that the level of involvement by our members will dictate the level of our success. This stands true at every level of our union, from the most remote post office to the big city plants. The more involved and educated each member is, the more we will be able achieve.

A misconception that some members have is that paying dues is all that is needed, that it’s like paying auto or health insurance. Why is this a misconception? With auto, life, pet, and health insurance, you pay a monthly fee, so that when something happens, when you need help, your carrier is there. With union dues, despite how some might like to paint it, there is no such thing as never “using the union.” Just about every minute of the day, you actually “use” the benefits of being union. The sky is the limit for the list of examples of how each of us “uses the union.”

Our contractual wages alone help pay for the roof over our heads, the food we eat, transportation, the activities large and small that we enjoy, and the health care we use, to name a few. It’s not all about the monetary value of our wages. Consider breaks and lunch periods, safety on the job, the right to talk at work, the ability to bid on jobs,and the right to protection against arbitrary discipline. Each of us uses the rights and benefits of being union every day, and to think otherwise would be just plain silly.

So, what do we need from each and every capable member? Involvement. Every time we reach out to our non-members, we have new co-workers who make the decision to stand with us. This holds true with recent mailings and texts after many of us received a cost-ofliving adjustment (COLA). For those who have recently joined, get actively involved in the labor movement.

You can get involved by actively recruiting your nonmember co-workers to stand with us. Just imagine our worker power if every APWU member asked at least one non-member to stand with us. They may not all join, but every new member standing with us is one less standing against us.

As 2023 comes to a close, let’s work together to make organizing in 2024 a top priority! Happy holidays to you and yours! ■

Local Leaders Reminder

During our peak season, do not delay sending in
Membership Applications (Form 1187s). In order for
membership to be automatically reinstated when a PSE is
rehired within 180-days after the conclusion of their current
term of employment, the original application must have
been submitted and entered.

Membership Campaign QR Code

Take a photo or screenshot of the QR code. Ask your nonmember coworkers to join the union today by scanning the image on your phone.

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