Labor News

(This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 
By Retirees Department Director Nancy Olumekor
Retirees in Action
(L-R) Roosevelt Daniel, President of the California Area Local Retiree Chapter,
with Congressman Pete Aguilar (D-CA-31) 
& Letitia Ochoa, Vice President California Area Local Retiree Chapter.
Use your voice to let the candidates running for the U.S. House and the Senate know that you and your family will only vote for those candidates that are committed to protecting your hard-earned benefits. This includes your federal pension, i.e., CSRS or FERS; Social Security; Medicare; health insurance and life insurance.
Tell those candidates running for Congress in your area that you will only support candidates who are opposed to privatizing the Postal Service and the federal agencies such as OPM, Social Security and Veterans Administration. Let the candidates know that you are only voting for candidates who will fight to protect and preserve the Postal Service and federal agencies.
 

(This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 
By Health Plan Director John Marcotte
As an advocate for workers and quality health care, I am disturbed by recent media reports about health insurance companies using data collected from non-medical sources. The implication is that this could be used to set rates for health insurance premiums.
First let me assure you that the APWU Health Plan does not do business this way. I personally find this practice discriminatory and reprehensible; it defies the entire construct of health insurance. The APWU Health Plan was created by postal workers banding together to share the financial burden of health conditions should any one of us be unfortunate enough to have or contract one of these conditions. This is a proud heritage and one I believe is worth fighting to defend.

(This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 
By Human Relations Director Sue Carney
Your donations are needed to sustain the Postal Employees’ Relief Fund (PERF). PERF is a nonprofit charitable organization.
When disaster strikes and all is lost, PERF provides tax-free relief grants to postal employees and retirees to help them reestablish a home and replace necessities. PERF has provided more than $19 million in assistance to postal families during its 28-year history, but meeting its mission has become increasingly difficult over the last decade.

 (This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 
By Research & Education Department Director Joyce B. Robinson 
Pregnancy discrimination exists in many agencies nationwide, including the Postal Service. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and prohibits sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Pregnancy is considered a temporary disability in the eyes of the law, meaning the treatment of pregnant employees falls under the same jurisdiction as disabled employees.

(This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 
By Human Relations Director Sue Carney
Your donations are needed to sustain the Postal Employees’ Relief Fund (PERF). PERF is a nonprofit charitable organization.
When disaster strikes and all is lost, PERF provides tax-free relief grants to postal employees and retirees to help them reestablish a home and replace necessities. PERF has provided more than $19 million in assistance to postal families during its 28-year history, but meeting its mission has become increasingly difficult over the last decade.

(This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 
By Organization Director Anna Smith
We all have heard of human rights and we all have those rights. But, did you know that labor rights are human rights?
What do I mean by that? Well, let me give an example and begin with the “right to an education.” Public education is far too often taken for granted by Americans. Sadly, only in the last century is it normal for children go to school and learn reading, writing and basic mathematics. This is all because of the work of worker unions in the late 1800s and early 1900s to end child labor. Once young children were no longer going to work in places like the clothing mills or mines, the need for elementary and high schools emerged. Unions then fought for those schools to be public, and not owned by a religious group or a company (in the cases of “company towns”).
Workers fought for free public education. We succeeded in helping secure the right of every American to have a K-12 education. We still are fighting for that same right to a free collegiate education. Labor unions fought for human rights to be...

(This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 
By Legislative & Political Department Director Judy Beard 
The 2018 Midterm elections are quickly approaching! On Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, one-third of the U.S. Senate, every U.S. House Representative, dozens of governorships, and countless local and state positions are in play. These candidates want our vote. Before you head to the polls, find out where these candidates stand on preventing the privatization, in part or in full, of the United States Postal Service.
Privatization means ending our publicly owned and operated Postal Service to be replaced by private corporate interests. It means ending our jobs that pay a living wage and jeopardizing our hard-earned retirement and healthcare.
To see if your representative supports House Resolution 993, (which calls for Congress to ensure that the USPS is “not subject to privatization,” go to tiny.cc/993. We have more than 190 sponsors so far, both Democrats and Republicans.
**Editors Note: Click Here to Pledge to Fight for the People’s Post Office!**

(This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 
By Central Region Coordinator Sharyn M. Stone 
This is a tough article to write because by the time you read it, we could either have a contract or be headed for binding interest arbitration. Our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expires on September 20, 2018. Hopefully we have achieved a fair and just contract and maintained the hard-fought protections we have achieved. Our negotiations’ team, headed up by President Dimondstein, serves us well.
Even if all is complete with the CBA, we have miles to go before we sleep. The constant threat of Article 12 excessing, reorganizing, mismanagement, harassment, coupled with the President’s threat to privatize the Postal Service into oblivion is still in play.
Have you called your member of Congress? Nothing should be more inspiring and more motivating than a threat to our livelihood and the continued existence of the Postal Service committed to serving every community...

(This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 
By Support Services Division Director Steve Brooks 
You may be, or have been, an employee whose postal employment was in jeopardy due to a disciplinary action. I know employees in this circumstance can find the process of getting your case heard time consuming and frustrating, whether it is through arbitration or pre-arbitration.
If you have an agreement, or have won a case in which the settlement is to bring you back to work with backpay, I’m sure you have realized the Postal Service is in no hurry to get you the pay and benefits you deserve. Furthermore, they are not trained properly when it comes to completing necessary back-pay forms.

(This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 
By MVS Division Director Michael O. Foster 
The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and the United States Postal Service (USPS) are in the process of contract negotiations. It is no secret that MVS faces very challenging times during this round of negotiations. The USPS, inspired by the White House, is pushing an agenda of privatization and trying to turn middle class jobs into part-time positions.
The Postal Service will advance an agenda of cheap labor called “efficiency” in an attempt to extract concessions from many years of bargaining between the parties. Postal management’s agenda is to duplicate the business models of Wal-Mart, Target, UPS and other for-profit corporations that have little regard for hourly employees. In this model of corporate greed, many benefits achieved by the APWU over the years – such as a 40-hour work week, penalty overtime, and scheduled off days – could become a thing of the past. Although the APWU MVS Division has submitted numerous proposals, we have yet to receive any proposals from the USPS, so we are virtually...