As this is written, the demonstrations against Staple’s is ongoing. Various Staple’s stores throughout the Pittsburgh area continue to be targeted through Labor Day. The schedule was previously sent via postcard to all Retiree Chapter and active Local members.
The continuing unprecedented participation by our Chapter members has been fantastic! No matter where the demonstrations are held, and they are fairly widespread in all corners of the area, our members have clearly been the backbone that has made them successful. Despite the advanced age and physical restrictions that we are faced with, our members have been the stalwarts that have carried the ball for the effort.
But we can’t do it alone, and there is the rub! The Local Pugar-Jones administration has taken a laissez faire approach to the entire Staple’s effort. Pugar has not taken a leadership role, and has provided the absolute minimal support and involvement. The result has been little or no direct participation ‘on the line’ by the Local’s rank and file at the various demonstrations. With so much at stake in this struggle, it is unconscionable that the Local has not been in the forefront of this critical activity. After all, it is the active Local’s members who have their jobs at stake. C’mon Pugar, get on the ball and get those troops on the line!
LABOR DAY 2014
As we arose before dawn to prepare for the United Labor Day Parade, we were greeted with a drenching downpour! So all the preparations for the auto that would carry the anti Staple’s signage were foiled! As were the many chamois wipe offs after each shower. But to no avail, as we left for the parade area @ 6:45, it was raining again!
We arrived at the staging area long before the Local arrived. Only the caterer’s truck was there, and they were antsy to get set up. Showers continued to fall. It looked like it was going to be a long day! The Local’s truck eventually arrived. Coffee, water, pastries and juice were set up for the marchers. My wife Charlotte, Pittsburgh Metro Local Recording Secretary immediately leaped into action distributing shirts, hats, and kiddie goody bags from the back of the truck.
“PROUD RETIREE” badges were distributed to Chapter members as the marching throng grew. All the while the showers continued on and off. Ponchos were made available to those that desired them.
As we were about to join the line of march, the rain stopped, the skies cleared, and the sun shone through. The day was saved! Anti Staple’s signage was placed on the vehicle, which followed our group of marchers, clad in their bright orange shirts and cami caps, who filled the street as we headed down Centre Avenue. The sea of orange blended with the thousands of other marchers, making it again one of the largest Labor Day Parades in the country!
The Local hosted a catered picnic luncheon at Avonworth Park immediately after our group completed the march. The park had gotten a little soggy due to the earlier rain, but the food and beverages hit the spot after the long morning dodging the showers.
On a personal note, we thank and commend the many Chapter members who joined in the march and the after parade activities. You have once again carried on the earned tradition that we retirees can be counted on to step up when our involvement is needed in support of the Union. We don’t just ‘talk the talk’. We ‘walk the walk’!
! ! ! BURIED! ! !
The five elected Retiree Convention Delegates (including this writer) have been buried! But don’t panic, we are still with you, although we have been buried deep within the ‘new’ APWU website. Here is what has happened. On the ‘old’ website, the five elected delegates were prominently displayed on the retiree main page. But in the ‘new’ website, to find the five delegates, one must dig into the ‘second layer’ of the retiree main page. When this was discovered as the new website was ‘rolled out’, we protested the affront to the Retiree Director and the Director of Communications. We requested a simple adjustment that would have returned the five delegates to the main page. But alas, our complaints fell on deaf ears, so we remain buried below the surface. You won’t need a shovel to find us, but you will have to dig a little. So it goes!