Our Work Continues: APWU Biennial National Convention, Congress’ End-of-Year Actions and the 2022 Elections

Judy Beard

September 10, 2022

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During our National Convention, the APWU Legislative and Political Department hosted a midterm election briefing that focused on our election efforts this upcoming November.

Eddie Acosta, a national campaign coordinator with the AFL-CIO, spoke about what is at stake in this election and laid out the AFL-CIO Labor 2022 program. APWU union counsel, Mindy Holmes, made a presentation on the Hatch Act, an election-related federal law that postal workers must abide by. Finally, we gave attendees information about how to participate in APWU’s midterm election program. The large turnout at the meeting showed that APWU members are fired up and ready to register and turn out a record number of voters this cycle! 

Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Brenda Lawrence, and Brian Fitzpatrick, along with Senator Chris Van Hollen and President Joe Biden also addressed the convention. They each thanked APWU members for our heroic efforts during the pandemic, and for getting ballots processed during the 2020 election. 

Congressional Action 

During the convention, President Biden signed into law the historic Inflation Reduction Act. The wide-ranging law allocates a total of $3 billion for the USPS to purchase an electric fleet. More specifically, $1.29 billion is available for the next nine years to purchase zero-emission delivery vehicles and $1.71 billion is available to design, purchase, and install the needed infrastructure, such as charging stations. 

Aside from the direct benefits to the Postal Service, this bill also makes the largest investment in addressing climate change in our nation’s history. Additionally, this legislation addresses both the ever-increasing cost of healthcare and rising inflation, while fixing the tax code to ensure that corporations will pay a fairer share in taxes. 

Although significant legislation has passed, Congress has more work to do. To keep the government open, the Senate must either pass the House’s appropriations bill, draft and pass their own bill, or pass a continuing resolution to keep the government open before funding expires in approximately one month. 

Congress is also working on finalizing two bipartisan pieces of legislation, which would safeguard our elections. The first bill, the Electoral Count Reform Act, would prevent the Vice President or state electors from refusing to certify the election without cause, and prevent them from overturning the popular vote of a state to elect a candidate of their choosing. The second bill, the Enhanced Election Security and Protection Act, adds protections to poll workers to help insulate them from intimidation, and includes several reforms to election mail to ensure ballots are processed properly. 

APWU members continue to fight for Congress to move on the USPS Shipping Equity Act, a bill that would allow USPS to ship alcoholic beverages directly to consumers. 

On July 19, APWU joined other postal unions to host a USPS Shipping Equity Act action day. Over 1,000 calls were made to compel members of Congress to co-sponsor the bill. We encourage all members to continue to call the Legislative Hotline at (844) 402-1001 to help end this unjust discrepancy.  

2022 Elections 

In 2022, voters will decide who will serve in the 118th Congress. Issues like defending USPS, preserving Social Security, protecting workers’ rights, investing in infrastructure, addressing climate change, and expanding voting rights are on the line. For resources on how to get involved, please visit our website at www.apwu.org and click on “Legislative and Political” under “Our Union.” 


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