by Lindamarie Peabody

Hello Tri-County members! Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. Having just returned from the 22nd Biennial National APWU convention in Chicago, I must say that I feel very different than I normally do when arriving home. The convention this year conveyed an intense feeling of solidarity in a way that was expressed as never before. We had many passionate speakers from various unions across the country, all who fully supported the APWU, as well as, inspirational employees from big business companies such as Walmart and McDonalds. These workers explained the many hardships they have endured while working for these large companies, and postal workers could never even imagine these things happening in their post office! All of the speeches that were given, magnified the concept that no matter who you work for, the common goal is the same. We all want to be treated with dignity and respect, while earning a living wage to provide a better life for our families. It is as simple as that! Why is it such a struggle for billion dollar companies to share the wealth with the very employees who make it happen? The answer is corporate GREED! They want to push down the middle class and below, so that we can never fulfill our desire to rise up and succeed. If you ask yourself what can be done, the answer is clear to see. We need to combine with like minded people (which is almost everyone we know), and use another convention theme which is to FIGHT BACK! Those of you who are skeptical of our power, just give up, and question our ability to fight the fat cats who are running this country. Well if you do nothing, things are definitely going to rapidly decline for all of us. This is never a good option! the primary goal for our union is to constantly strive to improve working conditions for all workers, so naturally you would want to do whatever it takes to further advance our cause. We need to reach out and spread the word to everyone that the Post Office is important to the very fiber of our lives and is still relevant to the country’s future. We must educate our elected leaders and future political candidates that a VIBRANT post office staffed with trained postal workers is the only way to go! We must join all other labor unions in the country and support their causes, so that they will support us! We must endorse the Fight for 15, which will help fast food workers rise above the poverty level. We must foster union organizing in all trades, especially Walmart! We must let everyone know that the Staples program is a dirty deal with intentions of replacing decent jobs with low paid unskilled workers, and that we intend to BOYCOTT shopping at Staples until the program has been officially canceled. We must use mail and social media to get our message out and motivate the masses to see the truth about the post office and the 99 percent who are struggling to keep above water. We have to organize a movement like never before! The time to act is NOW! The APWU, NALC, NPMHU, NRLCA, AFL-CIO, CWA, CLUW, NAACP and many other unions have made a commitment to support each other and join together for a better future for all of us. We will FIGHT BACK and we will FIGHT HARD! We ask that you embrace your responsibility as a union member to stand up and fight back for what we believe in. We can’t do it alone, but together we stop the assault on all union members! OUr new national officers have one message that stood out during the convention and it is a catch phrase that all of you should know. You should say it at least twenty times a day to not only yourself, but to anyone who will listen. The phrase is...THE U.S. MAIL IS NOT FOR SALE, THE U.S. MAIL IS NOT FOR SALE, THE U.S. MAIL IS NOT FOR SALE...!!!!!! Wake up, get on the union train and remember to use it or lose it! In closing, I want to say thank you for allowing me the privelege of representing Tri-County as a delegate, and I urge you to come to the union meeting in September to hear about everything that happened at the convention.

In union solidarity,

Lindamarie Peabody
Director of Industrial Relations/Editor