All-Craft Conference Gets to
Work on Contract and Climate Change
October 30, 2019
Following the day’s General Sessions and workshops on Tuesday, October 29, the focus turned to two important APWU priorities: the fight against climate change, and the work of the Contract Action Teams (CAT) to mobilize members and locals during contract negotiations and interest arbitration.
“FIRED UP, READY TO GO!”
CAT Members Meet in the All-Craft Conference
At the CAT meeting, the work of Contract Action Teams throughout the contract negotiation fight was highlighted. Speakers included members of the National Executive Board, who thanked the CATs for mobilizing and inspiring local members to engage in the contract fight on the work room floor. The meeting was facilitated by the Special Assistant to the President, Violetta Ward-Diamond.
Following the speakers, the CAT regional liaisons were recognized. The regional liaisons – Janalee Banks (Western), Wanda Harris (Southern), Angela Buie (Southern), Jennifer Lemke (Central), and Arrion Brown (Eastern) – were integral in coordinating efforts of CAT teams within their region. Individual members also took the podium to tell stories about their experiences on the work room floor during the contract campaign. The lively meeting was filled with applause and cheers, with members loudly joining in a call-and-response of the CAT slogan “Fired up, ready to go!”
“This first face-to-face meeting of CATs from around the nation showcased how our members have successfully used their skills to build worker power surrounding our fight for a good contract by using creative and fun methods.” said, President Dimondstein. “This is important work and it has made a difference to our work."
TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE POSTAL SERVICE
The “APWU Involvement in Climate Change and Postal Service Responsibilities” meeting brought members together to discuss the effects of climate change on communities across the country and how APWU can lead the fight for an environmentally sustainable Postal Service. It was facilitated by APWU National Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy and Greater Seattle Area Local Vice President David Yao. Members from across the country shared how climate change has affected them, with heartbreaking stories told by members who have faced devastating wildfires, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes.
Seattle Area Local Vice President, David Yao
The facilitators then discussed the Postal Service’s own struggles with adapting to climate change. Members shared ideas on how APWU can play a role in making the Postal Service into an environmentally-conscious, sustainable agency.
“The meeting was great. People are very concerned about the disasters that are going on,” said Executive Vice President Szeredy. “We need to help make sure that we change the systems that the Postal Service has and that we educate people, especially our members, and give them talking points on why these climate issues are so important and how they touch us.”