by Lindamarie Peabody

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! With the election of the first labor-friendly President in eight years and the breaking Postal story in the Philadelphia Daily News exploiting our District for all its failures, I couldn't feel more positive for our future.

Although we will face many challenges in 2009 and the years to come, the American Postal Workers Union will continue to fight hard to keep us all employed. Even with the horrendous economy, all postal employees enjoyed a raise and as I write this article, no employee has been laid off. With all of the uncertainty surrounding our future with the USPS, being the optimist that I am, I have decided to let go of the daily worry and focus on taking one day at a time. It will be in all of our best interests if we channel that energy into ensuring that the Post Office will survive. This means going the extra mile for our customers and working hard despite all of the negative managers and rules imposed upon us. I personally still believe in the age-old adage of a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. It will help you if you can just relish in the fact that you still have a decent wage, excellent health care, and leave benefits that are almost unheard of in most businesses in this financial crisis we are facing. Instead of worrying about looking for a new job, how you will pay your bills or feed your family, you can firmly believe that your checks will still be coming every two weeks.

Recently, I was told by a co-worker that the local union does nothing for me. I couldn't believe what I heard, but when I began to think about it, I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs that some people just need to wake up to reality. This union is NOT about one person. It is about sticking together through good times and bad times. When we negotiate with managers on any issue behind closed doors, we can't always get everything we want. We don't have or know of any magic wand we can wave to make management meet our every demand and make it all better for you. BUT we do get what we NEED! What we need are jobs for our members! Yes, there will be changes in your duties, some will be forced to change locations or start times, and some of us will be short-handed to the point of exhaustion, but at LEAST at the end of the day you will still have a JOB that PAYS! Do you all understand this??? I bet if you asked any of the thousands of people who were laid off this year if they would mind getting their job back at a different time or location, what do you think their answer would be? If you ask yourself this question and still don't get it then you need help! The Local and National Union works tirelessly to do EVERYTHING in your best interest ALWAYS. You can count on it! (There, I just screamed and I feel much better now...Thanks)

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of the members a wonderful holiday season and a safe and Happy New Year! To my fellow Officers, I wish you the same, but also mention what a privilege it was to work with such a wonderful group of individuals who always give 100% all of the time to further the rights of our union members. To our President, well what can I say...you are the glue that holds it all together! Thanks for always being there when I call, for giving me wise info and for your constant loyalty to this union. You make it run smooth and we all appreciate your dedication and support to all of our members.

Love and Happy Holidays,

Lindamarie Peabody
Director of Industrial Relations/Editor