2/02/2017 - The 115th Congress has convened and lawmakers have wasted no
time taking action on items of interest to postal workers. Legislative issues and action e-Team updates will address both challenges that arise and opportunities to advance our APWU agenda in the new Congress and new administ
On January 31, Representatives on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee introduced The Postal Service Reform Act of
2017, H.R. 756. This bill is currently under review by President Dimondstein and the Legislative and Political Department. Updates will be posted on the APWU website.
The U.S. Offices of Personnel Management (OPM) and Management & Budget (
OMB) released a memorandum on Tuesday, January 31 which made clear the hiring freeze does not include the U.S. Postal Service.
Click here to learn more about Fast Track.
Call your senator and say "NO" to Fast Track: 1-855-712-8441.
2/05/2016 - Many Americans are turning their attention to the persistent and growing problem of income inequality. As the rich get richer and leave working families behind with wages that have stagnated for decades, our leaders in Washington should be mindful of the best way to raise wages — collective bargaining. Workers coming together, forming a union, and collectively bargaining is a tried and true recipe for raising wages. This winning recipe and the right to collectively bargain was enshrined in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
Unfortunately, protections afforded to workers under the NLRA don't always translate into real life. In many cases, the legal deck is stacked against workers. There is little disincentive to stop companies from retaliating against workers who exercise their rights — the penalties simply are too small and too weak. Likewise, the timeframe for resolving unfair labor practices can stretch on for years, long after an affected employee deserved justice.
Workers need help to combat unlawful management practices and ensure more can exercise their collective bargaining rights, where workers can win a decent living wage, benefits, and respect and dignity on the job.
That's why Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), introduced the Workplace Action for a Growing Economy (WAGE) Act last September. The WAGE Act significantly strengthens the NLRA and allows for effective and prompt remedies to employer misconduct. Under the WAGE Act, there would be real penalties and fines to discourage companies from retaliating against workers exercising their collective bargaining rights. As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka puts it, "The WAGE Act asserts in no uncertain terms that workers’ rights are civil rights."
More Than 150,000 Have Signed Postal Banking Petition
12/08/2015 - More than 150,000 people have signed a petition launched by the Campaign for Postal Banking urging Postmaster General Megan Brennan to implement postal banking in post offices across the country. Organizers plan to deliver the petitions this month.
Have you signed? If not, there's still time. Click here to add your name.
The APWU has joined with 27 national organizations to co-sponsor the petition, including groups as diverse as Alliance for Retired Americans, Consumer Action, Daily Kos, Farm Aid, National People's Action, Public Citizen, and Social Security Works.
"This campaign has special meaning for postal workers and everyone who supports the public Postal Service," said APWU President Mark Dimondstein." To protect our jobs and our great national treasure, we must enhance postal services."
"We can better serve the public by offering affordable, non-profit financial services - paycheck cashing, bill payment, savings accounts and small loans - to people who desperately need them," he said.
"These services can strengthen the Postal Service, establish a new source of revenue, and help protect postal jobs," he added.
The Postal Service is the most highly rated federal agency and already offers some financial services, such as money orders. As the petition notes, the Postmaster General can act now to:
Install surcharge-free ATMs;
Expand services to include payroll check cashing, and
Provide bill paying and electronic funds transfers.
For those without access to traditional banks and those looking for an alternative to the big banks, postal banking is a real solution that serves the public, not Wall Street. Click here to read more.
The legislative movement against delayed mail achieved an important milestone over the past week. For the first time, an outright majority of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is now calling for an end to delayed mail and the return of overnight mail standards. This accomplishment is building on the overwhelming and bipartisan 85-11 Senate vote in April against postal cuts.
Over the last week, 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors of House Resolution 54 (H.Res.54), which now has 219 co-sponsors in total. Led by Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Paul Tonko (D-NY), H.Res.54 calls on the USPS to restore mail restore service standards to those in effect from July 1, 2012 - January 4, 2015. The latest cosponsors are demonstrative of the broad coalition demanding prompt service: Democrats and Republicans, urban and rural, committee chairs and congressional newcomers.
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
Rep. David Young (R-IA)
Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT)
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX)
Although the USPS has temporarily delayed implementation of the planned closure or consolidation of dozens of postal facilities, the damage has already been done to the speed of America's mail. Overnight mail standards were eliminated by the USPS on January 5, 2015. Now, the USPS is failing to even meet these greatly lowered standards. In many cases, postal customers must wait days or longer for prescriptions, bills, checks, and correspondence. Ultimately, Congress has the authority and responsibility to ensure prompt and reliable mail service to all Americans.
While this new majority is important and noteworthy, it must be considered in context. This bipartisan resolution is a non-binding measure that does not carry weight of law. As such, H.Res.54 by itself will not stop America's delayed mail and the dismantling of the postal network – it is an essential tool in our fight to fix the problem. As the APWU and our allies push for action, be it through a government funding bill, comprehensive postal legislation, or any other venue – we are backed by the voices of an outraged public and the strength of congressional majorities in both chambers.
Each new voice will make our movement stronger. If your representative is not yet a cosponsor of H.Res.54, please contact their office and request they join today. Hover over a state to see how many its representatives are co-sponsors of H. Res 54. Click on the map to see which representatives are co-sponsors and which are not, and to see contact information.
APWU E-TEAM WEEKLY
e-Team Report, October 27, 2015
Tell UPS: Move Forward & Leave ALEC Behind
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a secretive organization of corporations that lobbies politicians behind closed doors, all under the guise of a tax-exempt charity. As a backroom partnership between corporations and lawmakers, ALEC routinely promotes model legislation designed to:
Drive wages and benefits down;
Restrict your rights for claiming workers’ compensation;
Weaken safety standards on roads and highways;
Misclassify employees as independent contractors, so that companies can increase profits by paying workers less; and
Support right-to-work (for less) laws that weaken unions and make it more difficult to negotiate good contracts.
As ALEC's radical anti-worker agenda and undemocratic practices have been exposed in recent years, over 100 major international corporations have acted responsibly and quit the organization. UPS, however, continues to belong and financially support ALEC.
Last month, APWU joined a broad coalition of 84 organizations on a letter calling for UPS to leave ALEC. Sign below to join a broad coalition of working people, environmentalists, and others by asking UPS to leave ALEC.
ALEC is bad for UPS's reputation as a sustainable corporation, and worse for workers in all industries. If ALEC's legislative agenda succeeds, it could put the hard-earned pay and benefits of all workers at risk.
The movement demanding an end to delayed mail gained a powerful ally - the California State Legislature. Recently, the legislative body which represents one-eighth of all Americans took a strong stand against cuts to mail service in passing Joint Resolution 11:
The Legislature urges the United States Congress to require the United States Postal Service to restore service standards in effect as of July 1, 2012, and place a moratorium on planned shutdowns of mail sorting centers, and further urges the United States Congress to oppose any postal reform legislation that does not continue the mandate for six-day delivery service or does not protect door-to-door delivery as it currently exists.
With this action, the state legislature calls on California's congressional delegation to take action and stop the destructive cuts to postal services. That message should be well received, as 41 of California's 53 representatives already co-sponsor H.Res.54, the resolution which calls on the Postal Service to restore overnight mail service standards. The overwhelming support for keeping the service in the Postal Service from California's state and federal lawmakers is thanks in great part to the APWU state and local outreach and education efforts.
For APWU activists looking to promote a similar resolution with their state legislatures, a one-page fact sheet is available for download here.
Nationally, we are extremely close to reaching a bipartisan majority in the House opposing delayed mail. With 8 more members of Congress signing on in just the last week, H.Res.54 is up to 213 co-sponsors, 5 shy of an outright majority.
Patrick Meehan (R-PA)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
John Sarbanes (D-MD)
Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
David Cicilline (D-RI)
Ryan Costello (R-PA)
David Valadao (R-CA)
Brad Ashford (D-NE)
McCarthy Out in Speaker's Race
In a surprise move yesterday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) dropped his bid to replace John Boehner (R-OH) as Speaker of the House. McCarthy, Boehner's second in command, was considered the odds on favorite to succeed Boehner after his announcement last month that he would retire at the end of October.
However, McCarthy's promotion to Speaker faced stiff opposition from conservative House Republicans and questions emerged whether he could reach the 218 votes necessary to win. The conservative House Freedom Caucus and its more than 40 members endorsed Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) over McCarthy this week. Also vying for the Speaker's gavel is Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has jurisdiction over postal legislation.
After his surprise withdrawal from the race, McCarthy commented, "Our conference is deeply divided and needs to unite behind one leader." In light of McCarthy's announcement, Boehner postponed the internal Republican vote for Speaker that had been scheduled for yesterday and will stay in the position until his replacement is selected.
To read more about the race for Speaker, please click here.
APWU E-TEAM WEEKLY
e-Team Report, September 26, 2015
Speaker Boehner to Retire
This week, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) announced that he will retire from Congress at the end of October. Boehner's retirement will mark the end of his 5-year tenure as Speaker and his 25-year career in Congress.
Early predictions are that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Boehner's second-in-command, is the front runner to replace him. Said Boehner, "I think Kevin McCarthy would make an excellent Speaker."
Amid news that he will retire, Boehner has also signaled that he will put forth a clean continuing resolution to fund the government through December 11th. While unpopular with House conservatives who seek to defund Planned Parenthood, Boehner’s move signals that a government shutdown is unlikely, at least for the time being.
To read more about Speaker Boehner’s retirement, please click here.
H.Res.54, the resolution aimed at speeding up America's delayed mail, continues to attract support in the House of Representatives.
Now up to 205 co-sponsors, H.Res.54 is closing in on the 218 needed to achieve a bipartisan House majority endorsing prompt, reliable mail. The resolution expresses the sense of the House "that the U.S. Postal Service should take all appropriate measures to restore mail delivery service standards in effect as of July 1, 2012."
Restoring the July 2012 service standards would reverse a January 2015 action by the USPS to slow the mail nationwide and virtually eliminate overnight service. While the resolution is non-binding, co-sponsoring H.Res.54 is a great way for representatives to publicly declare their opposition to the recent scourge of delayed mail.
The resolution has surpassed 200 co-sponsors thanks to APWU members, retirees, and Auxiliary working together to educate Congress about the dangers of the mail slowdown. In many cases, delayed mail has meant that families and businesses must wait 3-5 days or more for essential correspondence, including: military veterans receiving vital medications, seniors getting benefit payments, and small businesses awaiting remittances.
To help visualize our great progress so far, and also the work still to come, please check out the linked interactive map that displays H.Res.54 co-sponsorship state-by-state. The greener your state looks, the greater the share of the House delegation already co-sponsoring.
By clicking on your state on the interactive map, you can see which of your state's representatives we still need to reach out to about co-sponsoring H.Res.54. If your lawmaker isn't yet on board, please contact their office and encourage them to add their name today!
Hover over a state to see how many its representatives are co-sponsors of H. Res 54. Click on the map to see which representatives are co-sponsors and which are not, and to see contact information.
APWU E-TEAM WEEKLY
e-Team Report, September 19, 2015
Send the Message - Safety First!
Private postal subcontractors are seeking an exemption from a necessary federal safety rule. If granted, the exemption would permit private, commercial drivers hauling mail for the U.S. Postal Service to operate trucks after more than 14 hours on duty following a break of less than 10-hours. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is considering public input on this exemption until September 21st.
We can do something about this! The APWU urges everyone who cares about safety on the road to submit a comment opposing the exemption.
The APWU is renewing warnings about the dangers posed by sleep-deprived truck drivers and asking union members and the public to oppose this exemption by taking action. An exemption would pose a serious danger to motorists and pedestrians. It also would make it easier and cheaper for postal management to outsource U.S. Postal Service work - OUR WORK.
The National Star Route Mail Contractors Association (NSRMCA), the trade group seeking the exemption, represents approximately 17,000 large and small companies that transport mail for the Postal Service in trucks of various sizes. Many of the Star Route companies are so small that their drivers are exempt from drug and alcohol tests that Postal Service drivers are required to take. This only magnifies the danger!
Safety First. Add your voice to the fight! Oppose the exemption!
Click here to make a comment by Sept. 21 opposing this dangerous practice
APWU E-TEAM WEEKLY
e-Team Report, September 09, 2015
Labor Activism Pays Off NLRB on a Roll for Workers
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recently issued a string of positive rulings that will strengthen employee protections and unions' abilities to advocate for workers.
Highlighting the NLRB's recent rulings, Politico reported:
Using a thin partisan majority on the National Labor Relati
ons Board, Obama's Democratic appointees have issued a string of rulings that favor unions - including six pro-labor decisions in just the past few days. On Thursday, the NLRB issued a momentous 3-2 ruling along party lines that may make it easier for McDonald's to unionize, reversing a 34-year precedent. The board subsequently issued five additional decisions ruling for unions on less-momentous matters ranging from whether a worker may demand that a union rep be present during a drug test (yes) to whether an employer may exclude union reps from voluntary peer review committees (no). Two of these new rulings were made public Monday, concluding a flurry of NLRB votes from a board that observers say is more pro-union than any since the early 1980s.
The NLRB has moved to greatly limit the amount of time management can stall before employees gain their vote to organize after filing for a union election. Further, the NLRB is working to eliminate "mandatory arbitration" in worker contracts that sign away employees' rights to sue their bosses.
It's important to remember that just two short years ago, the National Labor Relations Board was on the brink of dysfunction. Due to filibusters by Senate Republicans of several Obama nominees, the NLRB was on a course to lose its quorum. If it lost its quorum, the agency tasked with protecting America's workers from unfair labor practices would lose all ability to operate. The APWU and the labor movement at large put out the call to end the obstructionism and confirm President Obama's NLRB nominees. APWU activists answered that call to action and reached out to Senate offices – insisting senators stop abusing the filibuster that directly threatened workers' protections. With the support and activism of the labor movement then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) threatened in July 2013 to force the NLRB nominees through the Senate. To do so, he would invoke the "nuclear option" and eliminate the 60-vote threshold for confirmation of certain nominees. With a compromised reached shortly thereafter, Reid withdrew the nuclear threat and GOP senators allowed votes to fill NLRB vacancies.
Today, we're seeing the positive results of labor activism. The recent resurgence of the NLRB as a more effective advocate for working Americans can be traced back to the labor movement coming together to fight for our rights. At a time when we face many challenges, it's important we reflect on our victories and stay mindful of what our collective action can accomplish.
To read more about the recent pro-labor NLRB rulings, please click here.
APWU E-TEAM WEEKLY
e-Team Report, August 28, 2015
USPS OIG Sounds the Alarm Over Delayed Mail
The Postal Service's Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued an alert this month that confirms what the APWU has been telling Congress and what postal patrons have been enduring - America's mail has slowed dramatically. In its review of mail timeliness after the USPS cut service standards on January 5, 2015, the OIG found "a substantial increase in delayed mail over the last several months."
Recognizing the severity of the situation, the OIG called on the USPS to "immediately address the timeliness of mail processing." In their alert, the OIG highlights that delayed mail has increased by 48% in the first six months of 2015. By cutting service standards in January and virtually eliminating overnight First-Class Mail, the USPS now can take days longer to process and deliver mail and still be considered on-time. In spite of these relaxed standards, delayed mail is through the roof while the USPS fails to meet these newly lowered standards.
Remarkably, this steep decline in mail service occurred while the USPS has completed a small portion of their planned facility closures and consolidations. Earlier this year, the USPS put on hold the planned closure or consolidation of dozens of mail processing facilities. This was largely a reaction to customer dissatisfaction over reduced standards, delayed mail, and communities speaking out.
Before resuming the planned mail processing facility closures or consolidations, the OIG called on the USPS to "establish criteria for determining if the network has stabilized and ensure the criteria are met." In the past, postal management has ignored similar recommendations by the OIG and the Postal Regulatory Commission.
To read more about the USPS OIG sounding the alarm over delayed mail, please click here.
The Inspector General issued another report this month encouraging the Postal Service to "develop a strategy to increase voting by mail." The report, titled "Election Mail Opportunities," found that while many states allow voting by mail with no excuse, only 24% of eligible voters did so in the 2014 midterm elections. According to the OIG, the USPS could grow mail volume and revenue by $32 million in five years by encouraged vote by mail in the states that already offer "no excuse" absentee balloting - all while fulfilling its responsibility to bind the nation together.
The APWU wholeheartedly supports the expansion of voting by mail. As has been demonstrated in state after state, mail balloting is secure, cost effective, and increases voter participation in our democracy.
Twenty-seven states already allow voting by mail through no-excuse absentee voting, and they have found that voting by mail works. Three states (Oregon, Washington, and Colorado) conduct their elections entirely by mail. After adopting all-mail balloting for the 2014 elections, Colorado bucked the national trend of declining voter participation and substantially increased voter turnout. States with all-mail balloting routinely rank among the states with the highest rate of voter participation. When surveyed, 81 percent of Oregonians said they preferred voting by mail to traditional polling-place elections.
Earlier this month, Greater Seattle Area Local Vice President David Yao and Grassroots Coordinator Phil Warlick took the union's message to the National Conference of State Legislatures 2015 Summit and encouraged state legislators to expand vote by mail.
Click here for APWU's 1-page issue sheet on the many benefits of vote by mail.
To read the USPS OIG's report on promoting vote by mail, please click here.
APWU E-TEAM WEEKLY
e-Team Report, July 31, 2015
Does Your Representative Co-Sponsor H.Res.54? It's Time to Schedule a Meeting over August Recess
A growing number of U.S. Representatives are expressing their opposition to the Postal Service's mail slowdown by co-sponsoring H.Res.54 (House Resolution 54). This nonbinding resolution, introduced by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), calls on the Postal Service to reverse the January 5 action and restore service standards to those in effect from July 1, 2012 - January 4, 2015.
On January 5, 2015, the Postal Service reduced mail service standards, virtually eliminating overnight delivery for First-Class Mail and periodicals. Unfortunately, since the January 5th slowdown, mail service has suffered a precipitous decline, creating chaos across the country. Delayed mail has meant that families and businesses who depend upon the Postal Service for essential correspondence, including: military veterans receiving vital medications, seniors getting benefit payments, and small businesses awaiting remittances must now wait 3-5 days to receive their mail. Now, A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service is speaking up to tell Congress that the mail delays must end.
A sign of the bipartisan frustration with the new mail delays, 198 representatives have already added their name to H.Res.54.
Does your representative co-sponsor H.Res.54? Click here to find out.
If not, now is a fantastic time to reach out and schedule a meeting with your congressional office. Every August, Congress goes into recess for the month and lawmakers return home to their districts. We're calling on APWU activists to join together for collective action with their locals, states, retiree chapters, and Auxiliary in support of this commonsense measure. Congressional office phone numbers can be found here.
Looking for advice or want to discuss how to go about getting your lawmaker to sign on? Call APWU's Legislative and Political Department at (202) 842-4211 for help scheduling or preparing for a meeting. Click here for a helpful one-page issue sheet to share with congressional offices and make the case for restoring service standards.
July 18, 2015 Under "New Business" at the July General Membeship Meeting, President Alex Aleman appointed Letty Alejandro to the vacant Legislative Director position and asked the body to approve the appointment. Appointment passed.
Become involved in current legislation that could affect your job. Please contact your Representative and urge them to support these current important issues. APWU Congressional Information Center
Ed Schultz Speaks With Mark Dimondstein About The Postal Service and Sen. Bernie Sanders
Ed was at Fighting Bob Fest in Madison, WI over the weekend and caught up with American Postal Workers Union president Mark Dimonstein about the fight to strengthen the Postal Service. He also touches on Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign and the momentum he has had lately.
Veterans Jobs At Risk From House Postal Bill (APWU's TV Ad)
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