People Power in 2020

Debby Szeredy

November 19, 2019

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(This article first appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

The National APWU Election of Officers is over and I want to thank those who supported me.

Approximately 36,000 members voted, out of approximately 190,000 members. In the 2016 election approximately 46,000 members voted. During the campaign I spoke to many members who said that it was hard to vote for people we don’t know. I explained that a booklet with the candidate’s 1000-word articles about their goals will be in the envelope that has your ballot. You had the ability to read those articles to help you make a choice. If you trust your local officers and stewards you could vote for those candidates that they endorsed, because many have met the candidates or have kept up on officers around the country. The candidates tried to meet members during this campaign and be there if you had questions. We can’t be everywhere, and unfortunately the contract campaign ran into the election campaign.

Thank you for your support and confidence in my leadership skills. We have a lot of work to do.

There is another very important election ahead: the 2020 Federal Election. We need to be ready to not only vote for candidates who support postal workers and our families, we need to help them get elected. Our work can help stop the attacks against expanding the Postal Service and with the right people in office they can help us provide important services to this country. We need to fight like hell for job security, more staffing, good benefits, and a better working environment.

So, what should we be doing in the next three years?

We have to educate our members about why belonging to a union is important, and more important than that why we need to become involved as a union member now. Our future is in our own hands and it is so much better when we all share in the work to make our workroom floor a better place – that is safe, non-hostile, with better wages and benefits so that we can stop living like a slave to our job.

There is power in people. There are plenty of examples on how people power is real, and it works. I hope in the new year ahead we can bring educational programs and activities to the workplace, get you excited about standing strong with your sisters and brothers, and together save this good work we do, and the benefits and services we provide to the people of this country.

Let us pray that we start the New Year with a strong, supportive arbitration decision on our Collective Bargaining Agreement. May you work safely, have some time to share with your family, and get ready for the fight of our lifetime. Leadership excludes no one. Our vision is for a united membership committed to each other and our communities, “Be Not Afraid.”

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