JANUARY 2006 EDITORIAL

by Lindamarie Peabody

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday. The year 2005 was quite a challenging year for all Americans. With many U.S. soldiers dying for our freedom in Iraq, a president who admitted many mistakes, hurricanes that devastated millions of lives and virtually everything from gas to peanuts becoming more and more expensive, the task of keeping a positive attitude is becoming increasingly more difficult. It seems like we ignore the suffering people and the whole world revolves around war, oil, and WAL-MART. I recently watched a special on PBS about Wal-Mart. The question and title of the show was "Is Wal-Mart Good for America?" Of course, the answer is No, but anyone who calls themselves an American should watch this program. The show focuses on Wal-Mart and how they went into China, turned rice fields into factories and basically took over part of the country. The average salary of the workers in these factories is fifty cents an hour. They work twelve hour shifts and basically have no rights. Wal-Mart can name the price they want for almost any consumer good and China can make it. They accomplish this because they have workers who will do anything for a mere fifty cents and they also receive many raw materials from the United States for next to nothing. They can virtually outbid any American company because of their labor atrocities and often cheaper product. Wal-Mart imports over 85 percent of all the goods they sell in their stores from China, yet they always proclaim their loyalty to America. In reality they are responsible for many small stores and factories closing in the U.S. as they send the business to China. Last year they claimed a $314 billion dollar profit while the U.S. trade deficit with China is increasing to $205 billion dollars. This is money that can't be recovered by American exports because the spending power of the Chinese people is so much lower than ours due to poverty wages. It is unbelievable that a company with so much wealth can't afford to pay its employees a decent wage or benefits. They leave it up to the taxpayers in the U.S. to pay for the workers who work at Wal-Mart and still qualify for financial assistance and subsidized health benefits. Instead of helping America, they are killing the middle class and stuffing the massive profits into their pockets. Do yourself a favor and say no to Wal-Mart. Every time you shop there you pay twice. Once for the items adn once to the taxman to pay for all the employees who earn a substandard wage from one of the richest companies in the world. You can help all of America by spending your hard earned Union dollars elsewhere!

On another note, the Children's Holiday Party was a fantastic success! The Union office was packed and a great time was had by all. It was great to see the children's faces when they opened up their presents from Santa. I'm sure they all loved spending some quality time with their parents. It really filled our hearts with the Holiday Spirit and we thank you all for coming.

Also a special note of thanks for our last minute Santa (courtesy of Ray Clarke) who came on less than a few days notice and refused any payment from the Union. Again, there is hope in our hearts that not everything is driven by monetary rewards but rather the personal satisfaction of bringing joy to our children.

In closing, as tough as 2005 was on all of us, 2006 I fear will be even tougher. With projected plant consolidations, excessing of employees and many uncertainties in the Postal Service, we must come together as one! We can only succeed if we stick together as a group and not as individuals.

We all need to:

  • STOP the deal making and personal agendas!
  • STOP the attacks on fellow co-workers!
  • STOP allowing supervisors to do YOUR work!
  • START fighting for your contractual rights!
  • START speaking up for yourself and your job! If you don't, who will?
  • START coming to Union Meetings!
  • START giving to COPA!
  • START recruiting new members!
  • START ACTING LIKE UNION BROTHERS AND SISTERS!

STOP THE INSANITY!

Congratulations to the Media Post Office for pre-arbing and $18,000 casual-in-lieu of grievance! Seventy-one clerks will receive around $200.00 after taxes! (Thanks to our great Union!)

If you wish to write an article, ask a question, or just vent your frustrations, please send it to me at P.O. Box 483, Media, PA 19063.

My personal thanks to Mark and all the Officers for keeping the Union alive and for all the hard work they did in 2005!

Dan Traband - get well and welcome to the Union! You did the RIGHT thing and I still owe you $25.00!

In Union Solidarity,

Lindamarie Peabody
Director of Industrial Relations/Editor