Ruth Bader Ginsburg, The People's Vote Discounted

Debby Szeredy

November 17, 2020

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(This article first appeared in the November/December 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life passion was providing equality under the law. She was one of many women and some men that had the “fire in their belly” to stop discrimination. I know how Ruth felt, because I am one of those women, along with many of my union friends, who struggle to end discrimination in the workplace.

My first case was in my 20’s, when I represented a woman who worked as a casual (temporary) employee for the USPS. Her supervisor gawked at her breasts and her buttocks, continuously in front of myself and our coworkers. When she refused to go out with him, he said in her last workplace evaluation that she was a terrible worker. Due to that evaluation, she lost the opportunity to become a career employee. After a three-year battle, we won. She was given a career job, back pay, seniority and benefits.

I, and many others, have filed cases throughout the years for workers who were discriminated against due to their sex, pregnancy status, sexual orientation, race, national origin, religion, or due to being deaf or having other disabilities. The sad part of this story is that discrimination still goes on in many USPS workplaces today. Ruth’s belief, hope and her wins helped make many of us stronger. After all she has done, Ruth’s dying wish was for justice, and that we make sure the people’s vote counted, and the selection would be made from those we elected. On September 18, Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, fourteen days after the election began. Due to the pandemic, we were already casting early votes. No one should be given a lifetime position on the highest court of the land when we are in the process of electing our President and Senators.

Instead, the current U.S. President and Senate continued beating down people’s right to have a say in who would be seated in one of the most important jobs in the federal government. Let’s not forget, this is the same Senate who has allowed a bill to sit since May that would bring relief to essential workers, the Postal Service, schools, communities, small businesses, and local and state governments that are suffering in this pandemic, and being denied real financial support.

During the 2020 election the people spoke in the largest turnout since 1900. Every vote was counted and we voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. We must turn to Georgia for the runoff Senate elections.

This holiday season, I pray for all of our strong activists and hope for more members to stand up for each other. Put some “fire in your belly.” Get out there and fight for the public Postal Service, our second home, where we work more hours on the job than we get to spend with our families and friends.

Our work must start with stopping Postmaster General DeJoy from implementing more cuts. We must work to expand our public Postal Service for ourselves, our children and our communities. We must be ready to stand in memory of Ruth Ginsburg; our revolution needs your activism. Please stay safe; we love and care about you.

Have a Blessed Holiday Season.

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