It was a tremendous honor to be installed into office on November 16 with all of the elected national officers. I share a few of my edited remarks below, including a brief “12-point platform,” as we look forward to the new term of office and the New Year. To view the full speech, visit: apwu.org/md-speech.
Working, organizing, mobilizing together with all of you, we are marching forward in building an activist, winning union. Think of our collective accomplishments just this year -- ratification of a solid new contract by a 94 percent “yes” vote, record COLA increases, historic and urgently needed postal reform, a successful “Building Union Power” organizing campaign, and our strong union democracy reflected in our national convention and national union election.
Postal workers proudly and successfully delivered democracy, moving a record number of mail ballots in 2020! In 2015, we stopped the downward spiral of con- cessionary bargaining and restored more career jobs; we protected jobs and services in the victorious “Stop Staples” battle and built A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service. We have converted 100,000 Postal Support Employees to career; rose to the safety challenges of the terrible pandemic; aggressively enforced our union contracts; campaigned for expanded services including postal banking; encouraged new and young workers to step up; strengthened the retirees' department; improved cooperation among the postal unions; practiced solidarity with other unions and workers; and built an impressive campaign in the critical fight against the Trump administration’s privatization plans.
But we can never rest on our laurels. There will always be new challenges and ways to improve. As former APWU president Moe Biller always proclaimed, “The Struggle Continues…”
In addition to the vitally important daily struggles to enforce the union contract, some highlights of our coming work will include this “12-point” plan:
- Fight to defend our democratic rights in the face of rising authoritarianism, bigotry, and fascism. When the Nazi German fascists took power in 1933, one of their early actions was to ban unions and crush the workers’ movement.
- In this context, fight to protect and expand voting rights. Voting should be made as accessible as possible. Vote-by-mail is a key ingredient.
- Work at all levels of the union to address the ever- increasing hostile work environment. No worker should face harassment and discrimination at work – period!
- Continue to organize the unorganized, both inside the post office and beyond. Fight to raise the living standards of workers throughout our industry, most importantly at Amazon.
- Create new union leadership education programs.
- Improve injury compensation training with our new program of OWCP resource assistants.
- Fight for all legislation that uplifts workers and the 99 percent. Movements move Congress, not the other way around.
- Win a new union made electric postal fleet and charging stations for the public – doing our part for a clean energy future.
- Continue the struggle to expand postal services – especially financial services.
- Protect jobs and services as we face the new management plans of network realignment.
- Build grassroots power as we prepare for, and engage in, the next round of collective bargaining.
- The fight against postal privatization remains para- mount. No matter who sits in the White House, Wall Street is still Wall Street and they want our national treasure in their greedy hands. Our jobs, our union, and the people’s democratic right to public postal services depend on us.
These bold goals, and more, will take immense struggle to accomplish. Principled unity and working-class solidarity is key as we battle corporate greed, Wall Street privatizers, a perilous political environment, and any- one in management, from top to bottom, who vamps on postal workers, and chooses to undermine the public Postal Service.
Onward APWU Family! â–