Unity is Key to Our Continuing Progress

Mark Dimondstein

November 14, 2022

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(This article first appeared in the November/December 2022 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

The APWU is truly one of the most democratic unions in the United States. This was again reflected in the recently concluded national officer election with our “one person, one vote” mail-ballot election. Different from most unions, every APWU member has the opportunity to have their voice heard in choosing their national union leaders. The union belongs to the members, as it should, and our internal union democracy is part of what makes us “Union Strong, All Day Long!”

Elections are times when any candidate can say or promise anything. But I believe incumbent officers must stand on our concrete record of accomplishments. That is why I, and the entire Solidarity Team, chose to run a positive, upbeat campaign based on facts. We refused to engage in, or respond to, negative mudslinging campaigning.

You responded to the truth. I am deeply appreciative and honored by your vote of confidence in re-electing me as national president for my fourth term by an overwhelming majority of 68-32 percent, and in electing the entire and unified “APWU Solidarity Team.” The outcome undoubtedly reflects the recognition of the many gains that we have collectively made as a union: from the outstanding union contracts, including record Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) increases and impressive job security; historic postal reform; strong COVID health and safety protections; building a Grand Alliance to Save the Public Postal Service; to the successful battles to protect the public Postal Service, and so much more.

As the great abolitionist Frederick Douglas once penned, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” With the mandate of the election results, we will continue to march on the road of struggle and progress - from the workroom floor to the streets, and from the halls of Congress to postal headquarters. Building on our many successes, we will face the challenges and opportunities ahead – fighting for a workplace free of harassment and intimidation; continuing to negotiate solid union contracts; protecting jobs and service in light of the new “network modernization” plans; expanding postal services, organizing the unorganized; advocating for a pro-postal Board of Governors independent of Postmaster General (PMG) DeJoy; engaging in full-fledged solidarity with workers in struggle, and in the crucial fight to defend and expand voting rights (including vote-by-mail), and against the dangerous ongoing march toward authoritarianism and dictatorship. Along the way, you, the members, will be key to our success - the foundation and strength of our union starts with you and your union involvement!

And unity is the key to our continuing progress. With the union election behind us, and regardless of whom one supported, it is vital that we now unite in our common struggle for respect, dignity, and the uplifting of postal and all workers. We must continue to unite with the people of the country in defense of the public Postal Service.

The greedy Wall Street privatizers want nothing more than to destroy our union, our union contracts, our jobs, our national treasure, and to turn the Postal Service into a profit-making machine for private corporations.

As we look ahead, I urge all of you to become ever more active in your union by attending union meetings, volunteering for union committees, joining in rallies and press conferences, standing up for each other on the workroom floor, fighting for workplace safety, signing up the non-members, engaging in workers’ solidarity and sharing your ideas. I look forward to working with all of you – members, union activists, local and state leaders, and national officers -- over the coming years, as indeed “the struggle for justice continues!”

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