by Lindamarie Peabody

As the holidays are fast approaching, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to stay active in the political arena. Everyone is out to get a piece of us and if we don't act now, it may be too late. I am receiving daily e-mails about bills that are threatening the postal service, the collective bargaining rights of the union, and our futures. We knew it was coming, but we didn't expect it to be happening so quickly. It is in our hands now to try to save the Postal Service and our jobs, but I feel like our members still either don't care, as shown in the voting of our contract, or don't really understand what is going on in the world around us. Working class people are being pushed into the ground and we are just standing by and watching it happen. Union rights are being stripped away and when the dust settles it will be ALL OF US who will be either out of a job or working in substandard conditions. The time is NOW to get involved in writing letters to your representatives, or at least e-mailing them to tell them how you feel about them voting yes to all the negative pro-managerial bills that are out there. I know I have been preaching in past articles and you are probably sick of hearing about it, but I still see very little action, except "what about me." The union was never about ME, but rather about US and our common goals. If you need information on what to do or you don't believe what I am saying is true, go to the APWU web site and check it out for yourself. If you want to get on the e-mail list for Tri County to receive up-to-date information on these legislative attacks, please send your e-mail address to PO Box 483, Media, PA 19063 and we will let you see what we have been seeing for the past three years! The tide is turning and depending on the outcome of next year's presidential election, we may be working for a private post office without rights to question anything they will throw at us and we will probably be doing it at a much lower wage level. Oh, and when you do vote, REMEMBER that if you don't have money or a job, you can't buy a gun, get an abortion, have any health care at all, buy stocks, or put any money in the collection basket at church. In my opinion, all the issues that come up during elections don't mean squat compared to a failing economy and potential loss of wages or employment. All of these issues come with choices, except the compensation you receive from a union who fights to make all of these choices easier by guaranteeing a decent wage level and job security. I hope I have about 200 letters in the union's mailbox after you receive this newsletter.

In other news, the national officers are still trying to sort out the new contract and it seems that management has taken the ball and run with it. All they have heard from the entire contract is that now they can make 30 hour a week jobs. As Tri-County was one of the few unions to stand up and say the contract was terrible, we are now scrambling to fight what we knew was going to happen before the ink was dry on the new CBA. We now have created so many problems concerning duty assignments, that we do not have enough time in the day to keep up with all of the grievances. I feel overwhelmed and disappointed that now all of our time is spent trying to get management to understand that this contract was designed to get flexibility for them, not to take regular full time positions and change them into non-desirable duty assignments. I ask myself every day how these people get into these positions and stay there when they make poor decisions daily. All the union representatives can do is make sure that grievances are filed and wait and see what happens on the national level to try and clarify what each side meant when they said that "EVERY EFFORT...shall be made to create desirable duty assignments!" It is sad that the English language can't be interpreted by Postal Management in a CORRECT and DESIRABLE way!

Well, I am counting on all my fellow union members to get involved and start finding out what they can do to help save the Post Office. Please think about it and make it as important as anything else in your life, because your "POSTAL" life depends on it. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Merry Holiday and let's make this a Happy New Year by getting the Postal Service and our FUTURES back on track.

Thank you to all of the Tri-County Officers who work tirelessly to ensure all members' rights are protected and enforced. Thanks to all the members for allowing me the opportunity to serve you, for letting me get away to Vegas every few years and for supporting the right to get information out to you in this newsletter. Finally, many thanks to our president Mark H. for always keeping us in line, sending us thousands of e-mails daily, helping us to find everything in the union office, telling us where to park, finding our lost paperwork, and for giving us the strength to continue our mission, which is to chase management up a tree and keep them there with a whip. You are the best!

Happy Holidays and union solidarity,

Lindamarie Peabody
Director of Industrial Relations/Editor