by Lindamarie Peabody

Yes we can! Yes we can! That was the chant at the National Convention held in Las Vegas this past August. It was referring to the unanimous endorsement of presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama. On November 4 we will all be called upon to elect the next President. While we do not expect to speak for all individuals, we hope that you will select the candidate that will be on the side of the working class people. I have thoroughly researched both candidates and their vice-presidential choices and have found that my personal choice will be for Barack Obama. He has always supported many of the causes of the union, while McCain has usually only followed the blindsided policies of George Bush. With all of the challenges we have faced as postal workers in the past few years, we can't afford a President who only supports big business and the very rich. Over the last eight years, the working class has lost so much of our standard of living while the wealthy people continue to thrive. Health care is becoming more expensive, our economy is sustaining record losses in unemployment and gas prices are through the roof. With the President's $700 billion dollar bailout plan for the stock market and major corporations, we can only expect taxes to rise and good-paying jobs to disappear. Now is the time to start turning this country around for the good of the working class. We have suffered for too long and this election is crucial to the survival of the postal service. The economy and your job should be the two main factors that should influence your decision of who to vote for in this election. All of the other issues will be non-issues if you lose your job. I just read in the Washington Post that the post office is considering layoffs of 16,000 postal workers who have less than six years of service. What can be next? Will it be negotiated in the next contract that we will lose our no-layoff protection altogether? Will they cut our salaries or privatize the service? We don't know the answer to these tough questions, but I do know that if we don't elect Barack Obama, we are in serious trouble. The economy can't withstand four more years of Republican policies and the postal service can't continue on with over $2 billion in losses. Remember, people in a recession don't buy, mail or continue to pay postal salaries. America needs a President who can CHANGE our current state of affairs, a person who has a vision to support labor and ordinary working families, an American who believes in fairness to all classes of people and supports change to the current way Washington works. The choice is clear, and any EXCUSES you have (e.g. inexperience, he will raise taxes, he is black, he is a Muslim, he cheats on his wife, he has no international experience, he is not a war veteran and I could go on) I have heard them all. This election is an opportunity to end all prejudice and get on with what is really important.

The facts are that Barack Obama has consistently supported our efforts with Yes votes for the Employee Free Choice Act, supported collective bargaining rights, and he overall supports the U.S. Postal Service employees. That is all I need to know about my choice for President. Vote on November 4 and make it count!

In Union Solidarity,

Lindamarie Peabody
Director of Industrial Relations/Editor