Postal Strike/50th Birthday/ Anniversary of APWU

Tiffany Foster

August 27, 2021

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(This article first appeared in the September-October issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

On July 1, 2021, the APWU celebrated its 50th Anniversary/ Birthday. The APWU commemorated the event by giving a presentation via Livestream about how the union was formed. It was The Great Postal Strike of 1970 that led to the formation of the APWU. I hope you were able to attend the celebration because the presentation provided valuable information about our union’s history. Coming from the New York Metro Area Postal Union, I thought I knew a lot about the Great Postal Strike of 1970 because many of my mentors participated in the strike and shared their stories with me. The 50th Anniversary/ Birthday taught me more and deepened my sense of pride for our union.

We must learn about the struggles, the fight and sacrifices made that afford us the ability to have what we have today. The right to collectively bargain and negotiate our wages, benefits and work conditions was not given to us. Our union foresisters and forebrothers said ‘hell no, we ain’t going to take it no more.’ They put their jobs and family on the line for what they believed in and knew they deserved. We stand on the shoulders of those giants. Some of those giants are still with us today in the struggle and some have passed on, but they left a legacy that must not be taken for granted. Their fight and sacrifice must not be in vain. Today in the 21st Century, workers across the country are still fighting for the right to unionize and negotiate their wages, benefits and work conditions.

I challenge those of you who do not know about the APWU’s history to take the time to learn about it. If you do know the history share your knowledge with someone who doesn’t know.

Learning the APWU’s history is important to the existence and survival of our organization. As the famous Maya Angelou said: “if you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.”

If you weren’t able to see the livestream event, the presentation is on YouTube at I implore you to see it.

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Article 12 Events are still occurring across the country within APWU. The Northeast Regional Office was notified of several Article 12 impacts throughout the region. Several of the impacts were postponed, and some were changed from Article 12.5.C.5. excessing outside the installation to Article 12.5.C.4 excessing within the installation, which requires notification to the local leadership. If there is a proposed excessing in your installation, please speak to your local leadership first. Please get your facts from them. Do not take your supervisor’s word as gospel. The Joint Contract Interpretation Manual (JCIM) Article 12, page 4 says field managers and/or supervisors should not discuss proposed excessing outside the craft or installation with bargaining unit employees until the Area/ Regional parties have held their discussions.

The supervisors have these conversations with the employees to get the desired effect they want for the excessing. So again, get your information from your local or state union leadership, not management.

You can be assured that the NBAs and I are working diligently with the locals to fight the excessings, and APWU HQ has made themselves available to assist if necessary. With all the structural changes in the Postal Service and management grasping for jobs, it has not made them develop compassion for the employees or prevent them from impacting the employees’ lives. But because of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, management cannot do whatever they want to us or excess us to wherever they want.

I join my fellow Regional Coordinators, Omar Gonzalez, Sharyn Stone, Ken Beasley, and AJ Jones when I say this fight is a collective one, and we need all hands-on deck. Yours too!

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