APWU: Passing of Robert C. Pritchard, Former MVS Director

Brother Pritchard addressing MVS Conference Attendees.

APWU Web News Article – July 10, 2019
Robert C. Pritchard, former Director of Motor Vehicle Service, passed away Sunday, July 7, 2019. He was born May 2, 1949. At the time of his APWU retirement, May 10, 2013, Brother Pritchard was the longest serving craft director in APWU history with 17 years.

Robert “Bob” Pritchard began his postal career in 1978 as a clerk in Trenton, NJ. In 1980, he became a Motor Vehicle Mechanic. He was elected local craft director about a decade later, and served on the state Executive Board representing Southern New Jersey. By 1996, Brother Pritchard had moved up to 1300 L Street, serving as the National MVS Director.

He had a landmark career, fighting for the preservation of MVS jobs with significant wins, combating subcontracting and fighting for better working conditions for VMF and PVS postal workers. He fought side-by-side with current MVS Director Michael O. Foster for 12 years. Amongst many achievements, together they preserved jobs for drivers with diabetes, preserved air conditioning for PVS drivers, fought for position upgrades in VMF and fended off PVS subcontracting of the entire state of California in 2012.

Bob, daughter Alexis & wife Colleen at his last Installation of Officers.

Upon his retirement decision in 2013, Bob noted, “There is still a great deal of work to be done. But I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C. area for more than eight years without my family. My youngest daughter is about to enter her senior year in high school, and this is my last chance to spend time with her before she becomes an adult.”

At the time of his passing, he was still a full-dues paying member of the Trenton Metropolitan Area Local. He was a true unionist. He will be fondly-remembered and greatly missed by the APWU family.

“Unionism often forges strange relationships. Before Bob appointed me as his Assistant in 2001, we were hardly friends, he lost my local in the 1995 election by 105-8. But he saw something in me and he believed we could work together for the advancement of the APWU and MVS Division.”

Director Pritchard with then Assistant Director Foster in 2001.

“Working together for over 12 years at 1300 L Street we became brothers, confidants, and friends,” said Director Foster. “Under Bob’s leadership we were able to resist the attempts at privatization from an often-unreasonable employer. These accomplishments were hard-fought and sometimes misunderstood by the membership. The life of a union representative often takes a toll on an officer’s health and family life, but Bob never complained and fought for the craft until the very end.”

“I am privileged to have known and worked with Bob Pritchard for many years and his contributions will benefit MVS members for years to come.”

President Mark Dimondstein said: “The APWU family is deeply saddened at the news of Brother Pritchard’s passing and we extend our condolences to his family. The legacy of his tireless years of work for our movement carries on in the wellbeing of postal workers across the country.”

Source: American Postal Workers Union

3 thoughts on “APWU: Passing of Robert C. Pritchard, Former MVS Director

  1. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Tampa Area Local and APWU of Florida
    Office held, if any
    Director of MVS
    Email Address

    I have known Bob and his Family for many years, it is a great lost to the APWU Family and especially the MVS Craft. Bob has done many things to forward the advancement of the MVS craft he will be missed. God Bless Bob and rest in peace your friend in Florida.

  2. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Western Region APWU
    Office held, if any
    Regional Coordinator
    Email Address

    Brother Pritchard leaves a legacy of fighting for the cause and standing up for the MVS Division. In addition he had a love for this union of ours.

    I know, I served with him on the National Executive Board when he was Craft Director. An advocate for employee rights his voice and vote on the NEB was all about the member.

    I served with Bob on the NEB Committee. As Chair he did not lord over the rest of us instead he lent his years of experience to foster a deeper understanding of convention resolutions referred to the Board.

    Speaking of fostering the dynamics formed by these Brothers Pritchard and Foster was both unique and also inspirational. So much do, that Bob gracefully ( in his Jersey kind of way of course) passed the baton to Brother Foster in a real show of solidarity when it was time.

    I knew his lovely wife and delightful daughter. What a beautiful family. And now Mr.and Mrs Pritchard are in God’s presence. May they Rest In Peace and May our Lord Bless Miss Pritchard all her life. Thanks Bob for being Bob!

  3. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO
    Office held, if any
    Retired Assistant Director Clerk Division, National Convention Western Region Retiree Delegate
    Email Address

    I am so honored that I had the opportunity to work with Brother Pritchard while domiciled at the Headquarters Level as Assistant Director of the Clerk Division. He was one of the individuals that opened his doors to his office to me and was a true friend. I was also honored to get to know his wife Colleen, who preceded him in death. May they both rest in peace. My condolences to the family and friends.
    Dr. Pat Williams

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