|February 2014 Aritcle|
“I am convinced that if the members of labor organizations would follow some of the tactics of the employers’ organizations their movement could more successfully withstand its opponents and to progress as it has in the past. But if we are to be successful we must have, above all things, more loyalty and less selfishness.”
— Charles E. James, Union leader, 1907
Movement in Our Local
First of all, I would like to thank all of our union members who remain unwavering in their support of our local’s efforts and endeavors. Your membership and participation have not gone unnoticed, nor have they gone unappreciated. I commend your willingness to do whatever it takes in the name of solidarity and forward progress. I realize that I cannot do this work alone, and I appreciate those members who work tirelessly in support of our movement. However, there is still much left to do, and in order to meet those future challenges, we must remain steadfast in our efforts. More importantly we must continue to uphold our commitment to the ideals of the Labor Movement.
Additionally, the structure of our union is being threatened due to our decline in membership. Therefore, we must continue to focus our efforts on growing our membership by inviting and encouraging new employee to join us in our efforts. They must see themselves as integral parts of the whole. We can no longer allow our membership to decrease and or become inactive for there is persuasive power in numbers. As a team we can do more. We must assist them in seeing the benefits that come with membership.
As you read the highlights below, it is my hopes that you will feel encouraged and even more prepared to move forward towards progress.
JOBS, JOBS, JOBS
It is the mission of this union to make sure that the jobs we are entitled to according to the collective bargaining agreement are made available to our membership. We are constantly in a battle to get and maintain jobs for the membership. However, with the collaborative efforts of all union officials we have been successful in avoiding reduction in force and in some instances we have been able to negotiate new positions. Although I am pleased with our accomplishments thus far there is still much more to do. We must continue to advocate for more job opportunities and security for our membership.
WE ARE FAMILY
Everyone who belongs to our Union is an equal family member. Career employees must be mindful that PSE’s are our brothers and sisters. PSE’s must have the same respect for career employees. It is our duty to make sure that we police the Contract and make sure that management adheres to PSE complaints as well as those of career employees. PSE’s have an uphill battle in this struggle and the labor movement is about helping everyone achieve better wages and benefits. We have initiated grievances to have PSE’s converted to full-time so that they will be able to enjoy the full benefit of belong to our Union and being an USPS employee.
If you have been paying attention, you know that we are in dire straights in relation to various bills that are being introduced in Congress. I am encouraging all members and their families to take part in the legislative process. Educate your neighbors on postal issues that will affect them as American citizens. History shows that movements move Congress. Movements create legislation. The threat of privatization is real. We cannot sit or stand idle. The threat of subcontracting of all mail processing, retail, transportation, maintenance, and support services is very real. I urge you to get involved before it is too late. I am asking you to join our Local legislative committee also.
We are also welcoming back our brothers and sisters who were excessed under Article 12 of the Contract. The excessing dates back to 2009. Although Article 12 is a protection against layoff that others in the workforce do not enjoy, these moves did impact the lives of those involved. I am pleased to say that all of the members who had retreat rights are back thanks to the efforts of our Director of Clerk Craft, Joyce Williams, and other staff who made sure that management adhered to our Contract. Thanks also goes to the Director of the Maintenance Craft, Juanita Jett, who also played a significant role in helping us achieve the goal of enforcing retreat rights for our members. This accomplishment is truly a relief given that this was a major mission of this administration.
CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER
I am proud to announce that our very own, Vi Ward, who has served as Secretary-Treasurer for over thirty years is moving on. She has taken a position in Washington, D. C. to work with our newly elected National Officers. On behalf of our membership, I would like to extend a special thank you for her many years of service to the Local. We wish her good luck! With that being said, I am happy to appoint Financial Secretary Janet Withers to the position of Secretary-Treasurer. Janet has been Financial Secretary for the past eight years, serving three consecutive terms and doing a wonderful job. I am confident that Janet will also do a great job as Secretary-Treasurer. I would like to thank Janet as well and wish her good luck. Last, but not least, I would like to welcome back our MVS Director, Rich Olson, who was unjustly removed as a result of stepping up to the plate and serving as a Union Officer. We know that this is the reality, no matter what smokescreen management used to deprive him of employment for over one year. Thanks to the right to the grievance-arbitration procedure an Arbitrator’s award returned Rich to work. I am proud of Rich and I consider him, and his family, champions in the Labor Movement. In the midst of potential financial ruin, Rich kept representing the membership in spite of his own unjust treatment. How many others do you think would do the same? I also offer appreciation, from the bottom of my heart, to all of the Union Officials and members that helped out during this long struggle while our brother was out of work proving that an injury to one is indeed an injury to all!
IN UNION SOLIDARITY
In conclusion, it is my hope that the members, stewards, and officers of this Local will build a stronger bond so that we can tackle the many issues that we are facing us more effectively. Our rule books are the Contract and our Constitution and we must abide by them to be successful. Some adverse issues are stirring and the road ahead will be tough, I believe that everyone is capable of standing up and uniting to further the labor movement as a whole and our Local individually. The question is: Who will stand up for the right thing?
The Struggle Continues,
Daleo Freeman, President