Workers Are Fighting Back

Debby Szeredy

July 13, 2022

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

There is a union movement that is blazing across the country. It’s important for all of us to do our part to give support to workers that are standing up and fighting like hell to get a union like we have. There are workers forming their unions at Starbucks and Amazon, gig workers, tech workers, professors, students, cafeteria workers, nurses, child care providers, artists, journalists, migrant workers, truck drivers, and more -- all risking their jobs to have the security of a union. The Association of Flight Attendants is working hard to unionize at Delta, the only major airline without a flight attendant's union. This is a union that has pledged to us in our campaigns that they have our backs!!

In 1970, with incredible courage and solidarity, our foremothers and forefathers won their bargaining rights in the Great Postal Strike, and the APWU was born soon thereafter. Now it is our time to help build our union family. Let’s face it, we have workers at Pitney Bowes and other mail houses that do not have the wages and benefits we do, yet work on the very same equipment as us for less...We need to start stepping up and reaching out to those workers that deserve good wages and benefits and lift them up by joining our union. UPS Teamsters are getting ready for their biggest contract fight, trying to reverse concessions made in previous years.

Think of ways that your local can help support this union movement not just outside our workplace but within our workplace too. We are only stronger when we stand together. We have some of our locals that have been standing together on picket lines for those workers unionized and non-unionized. A perfect recent example is the Phoenix Metro Area Local Officers and Retirees standing with the new independent Amazon Labor Union from Staten Island that are demanding negotiations of a first contract. Amazon has taken the successful union election on Staten Island to court in another venue, Phoenix, AZ. Phoenix Metro reacted very quickly and in three days they pulled together a group of APWU members to be there on June 19 and 20, to stand with Amazon Labor Union. We need to be prepared at short notice to help our Working Families. Have your APWU signs and t-shirts ready to lend a hand to those who have been less fortunate than ourselves.

Let’s strengthen our workroom floor by developing more leaders in the membership, by continuing and strengthening the fight to keep our post offices and plants open, using our safety and health committees to protect our workplace and turn it around to be a place where you want to come to work. We complain of the hostile work environment, when we should be building strong committees of members to help plan ways to best stop it at the local level. Utilize committees in your local to strengthen and add to your list of activists. The time is now while the workers in this country are stepping up calling for unionization.

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