Web News Article #: 013-2015
01/22/2015 – Training for the union’s campaign to win a good contract moved to the Northeast Region on Jan. 21 and 22, and participants left the two-day session ready to get started.
A major theme was how union activists can win support and involvement from union members. Contract Action Teams (CATs) will serve as the basic unit of the campaign and will recruit volunteers from among union members, potential union members and retirees. Extensive discussion took place about specific techniques for making that happen.
Tom Adams, Maintenance Craft Director for the Albany Local, said, “I can’t wait to start implementing this CAT program in Albany.”
How Can We Move Management?
Discussion also centered on another basic question: How can we pressure management to negotiate a fair contract?
The strategy behind the contract campaign is that we must unite the fight for a good contract with the fight for good postal services. Participants discussed examples from other unions’ contract campaigns and what we can learn from their victories and defeats.
Michael Flynn, MVS Director, Albany NY Local, said, “I think this training is a good asset and essential in organizing and conveying our union’s message to the public.”
“It’s a new direction and challenge for the APWU,” said Northeast Region Coordinator John Dirzius. “Overall the training was well-received and provided a clear meaning to the convention resolution, Standing Up and Fighting Back.”
Dirzius opened the session by asking everyone to make a New Year’s resolution to Stand up and Fight Back against the forces that seek to destroy the USPS and to Stand up and Fight Back against those who attack our standard of living as postal workers and who demand the elimination of our right to bargain collectively.
“These forces, whether from within the USPS, from corporate America or Capitol Hill, are very real and very dangerous,” he said.
More than 40 people attended the training session. Among them were six National Business Agents and 35 union activists representing 13 locals, including Bob Johnson, president of the Greater Connecticut Area Local and chairman of the Rank-and-File Bargaining Advisory Committee.
More local activists from the Northeast Region will attend training with leaders from the Eastern Region next week.
APWU President Mark Dimondstein encouraged union activists to participate in upcoming training sessions. “These sessions are an important part of our preparation for the battle to win a good contract and better service. If you’re interested, please contact your local president,” he said.