by Lindamarie Peabody

Wow! Time has passed but most of the issues have remained the same! We are gaining momentum all over the country from other union members who are starting to see the big picture. The picture being that the only way to accomplish anything is to gain public support and have grass root organizations to reach out to the masses and get them on our side. The Postal Service, led by Postmaster Patrick Donahoe, is being attacked in every way possible and he is definitely not helping us to save the Post Office in any way, shape or form. He is trying to eliminate Saturday delivery, privatize our core essential duties and sell the postal profits off to the highest bidder. He must be stopped and soon, before he follows through on closing 82 more facilities in areas where there has been little or no public input at all. If he is successful in closing these facilities, everyone will lose. First class overnight delivery will be eliminated all over the country and the public will start to notice the delays in all of their mail. We can’t sit back and coast any more. We need to contact our representatives however we can through email, letter writing and even on Election Day to send the message that we are adamant in our resolve to fight back. There will be a day of action on November 14th where the unions will hold protests at different areas around the state. Take an hour out of your day if possible and show your support for the cause. If you can’t join a protest, make a resolution to tell ten people about the plight of the Postal Service and why it is important to save it. If every union member tells ten people we will get our message out to thousands. Some say talk is cheap. I say talk is free and is our best ally when used to get the facts out to the American people. If you need information on what you can do, please contact Gail G and she can give you some ideas to get involved.

In other news, the union won a monumental grievance against the USPS and it will help the union gain over 9,000 jobs for our members. The settlement involved getting back the work that was given away to PMR’s and management in offices with four and six hours respectively. The agreement included that the work must be returned to craft employees within a ninety day period. Gotta love our new officer group representing us at APWU headquarters, when they listened to our cries that every labor management agreement in our favor takes years to implement. President Dimondstein said he wanted to make an agreement that would improve conditions now, as opposed to waiting forever for some closure to our legitimate complaints during the grievance procedure. (Now if only we could speed up the thousands of other backlogged grievances and resolve issues at Step 1...we would be in a much better place with our members!) One step at a time! REAL CHANGE takes time and effort and we must be patient. I only hope that in the next contract we can try to put something in black and white that specifies how long a grievance can exist before a decision has to be made by SOMEONE! We will see what happens as the postal service and the union start sitting down in February to discuss the provisions of our new contract. In my opinion, we have a group of National Officers that will not sell us a bad bill of goods (like last time), but rather fight back and fight hard for our good union jobs to improve significantly.

Lastly, I would like to extend an invitation to our Annual Thanksgiving meeting which will be held on November 19th at 6:45 pm at the Union Office in Swarthmore. We will have food, fun and of course our free turkey giveaways! We hope to see you all there.

In union solidarity,

Lindamarie Peabody
Director of Industrial Relations/Editor