Saying Goodbye as Regional Coordinator

Mike Gallagher

June 3, 2019

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Good-bye, Au Revoir, Arrivederci, Kwa heri!

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

Sisters and Brothers, it is that time in the APWU constitutional cycle to make the decision to run for office – in my case, to run for an eleventh term of office, dedicated to serving the interests of the members of the American Postal Workers Union.

For 30 years I have faithfully executed my oath of office, to do my duty to the best of my ability and serve the membership unwaveringly as a National Officer.

After extensive consideration and soul searching, I have decided that it is time for me to pass the torch to the next generation of union activists to continue the fight for truth, justice and the American way.

I started my employment with the USPS in 1974, giving me 45 years of seniority, and I was elected to a local union position in 1981, giving me 38 years of APWU service with the last 30 years as a National Officer. Having worked for the APWU, in the best interests of working people my entire adult life, I can say that I truly made a difference. I will always cherish the opportunity the union has given me to make a living, raise my family, make so many friends and meet so many new acquaintances along the way.

I have served the APWU under four administrations: Presidents Biller, Burrus, Guffey and Dimondstein. I have also worked with some remarkable APWU officers, stewards and members over the years at the national, regional and local levels, and will never forget the efforts and experiences we shared together to make life better for our members and all workers.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give special recognition to my mentor Larry Gervais, a Minneapolis Region National Business Agent, who in my opinion was the brains behind the scenes of the APWU operation under the Biller administration.

I have had the pleasure of working with many dedicated office staff whose hard work and diligence has made me and the APWU shine. I thank them for their former and continuing commitment to the union.

I found that breaking new ground and advancing our members rights contractually and in disciplinary cases as an NBA to be most rewarding. The most disturbing and challenging of times as a Regional Coordinator came when I was required to shepherd our members through the Postal Service’s implementation of Area Mail Processing, which displaced thousands of employees nationwide while shuttering hundreds of Processing and Distribution Centers.

I now have the opportunity to look back on the challenges, the fights, the setbacks and the ever-satisfying successes, and it is a life filled with gratification, friendships and accomplishments. I am proud that I chose a union life. So I encourage and challenge you to choose a life that has purpose, has principle, is satisfying and is full of daily challenges and rewards. You will never regret it.

I have enjoyed working with the National Executive Board the last twelve years and would like to give a final shout out to my fellow coordinators: Sharyn Stone, Omar Gonzalez, Kennith Beasley and Ron Suslak, as well as to my recently retired friend, colleague, and partner in crime from the Northeast Region, John Dirzius.

I am looking forward to the next stage of my life, to enjoy= my family, my hobbies and my continued interest in getting quality individuals elected to local, state and federal government positions, to represent us in our continuing fight for the American worker.

I wish each and every one of you the very best in all you do for working people and in your personal life. Thank you for allowing me to serve as a representative of the American Postal Workers Union – the greatest union in the world.

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