By Mark Hennessy

The long awaited summertime vacations are now in full swing! We hope you are all enjoying your well deserved break from the daily grind of your duties serving our patrons. Be sure to come back refreshed to meet the challenge that faces all of us in our uncertain postal careers. Be assured the daily postal life kept going on for the USPS and for your Union!

The Staples threat is still there, however the union movement as a whole has signed on to boycott Staples in this critical effort to stop the USPS from eroding clerk positions and even Post Offices where Staples stores are in close proximity to their locations. What are you doing to help the cause? The most important thing would be to spread the word to family and friends. Students will be returning for the fall semester shortly in many states around the country. Many teachers need to stock up on school supplies not covered or provided in the usual school budgets or programs for teachers. Thankfully the NEA and other teacher organizations have joined the boycott and are asking their members to buy from other sources than Staples - and there are many to choose from!

We had four officers attend the APWU National Convention held in Chicago the third week of July. Their articles will appear in this issue covering their time there. Also in this issue, we are printing the officer/office steward breakdowns of assignments. We have six officers assigned to not only make Step Two arbitration appeals and Step Three appeals of grievances, but also to assist stewards in their offices for any needed USPS problems that arise in their respective office. Each member in each office should always remember to contact their immediate steward first and if not available, the officer assigned. If having no success for whatever reason, call the union office at (610) 544-6415. The President monitors all phone messages and faxes (610-544-6417). You can also reach the union office at our email address: Further, you will note offices with no steward on site will be assigned an officer as an "area steward" who will assist you in handling grievances. The President will return your phone calls and advise what officer is assigned in the event of an absence of your steward or area steward.

We hope you all have a pleasant relaxing vacation; and remember our meetings resume in September - King of Prussia area members - Michael’s Deli, Tuesday, September 23rd, 7:15 p.m. and Swarthmore Conference Room on Wednesday, September 24th, 6:45 p.m. Hope you will all come out and hear the news concerning the convention and the reports on the future of our APWU and the Postal Service!

In Solidarity,
Mark Hennessy