Web News Article #: 205-2015
10/29/2015 – Last year, more than 36,000 postal workers were injured or sickened at work and at least 10 suffered fatalities.
“Here’s the simple truth,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein and Industrial Relations Director Tony D. McKinnon Sr. wrote in a letter to local and state presidents and national officers. “If we want a safe workplace, we have to work together to make it happen.”
The letter accompanied copies of Fact Sheet #1, Know Your Contractual and Legal Rights, the first informational piece created for the union’s Stand Up for Safe Jobs campaign. It outlines management’s obligation to create a safe work environment.
As copies of Fact Sheet #1 arrive in the mail, locals are beginning to distribute them in break rooms, cafeterias and locker rooms. The fact sheet is intended to remind long-term employees about rights they may not have exercised recently. It is also intended to inform – in many cases for the first time – the thousands of union members who were hired within the last several years about their right to work in a safe and healthy environment.
“If your local hasn’t gotten started yet, now is the time,” Dimondstein said. Additional copies can be printed locally, or local presidents can request more by writing to NCCC@apwu.org. PDFs are available on the union’s website, www.apwu.org/issues/safe-jobs.
Next up will be Fact Sheet #2, which focuses on an important tool in the battle for workplace safety – PS Form 1767. “The form enables every worker to play a role in documenting hazardous conditions and insisting that management correct them,” the fact sheet points out.
“Using the form is most effective if ALL employees take part,” it says.
“That’s what makes it a campaign – all of us working together for the common good,” Dimondstein said. “So talk to your co-workers and encourage them to get involved and talk to their co-workers.” Fact Sheet #2 will be mailed during the first week in November.
Upcoming fact sheets will address some of the other tactics workers can utilize to ensure workplace safety.
The goals of the campaign are to:
- Reinforce an understanding of contractual safety rights;
- Mobilize union members to correct workplace dangers;
- Use PS Form 1767 to report and document safety hazards;
- Call for OSHA investigations to curtail unsafe conditions, when necessary;
- Build safety committees, and
- Win results from Labor-Management safety meetings.