Unions are the purest form of Democracy remaining in America today. Union elections are decided by their Members who VOTE. Union elections are not controlled by corrupt political parties, corporate and offshore money influence, professional campaign managers and advisors, voter fraud and all of those kinds of things that hijack the American governmental election process. Union candidates are workers who have devoted a significant portion of their lives to helping improve working conditions for their fellow workers and are elected by their fellow workers.
But like the American governmental election process, Union elections require voting Union Members to make some very hard choices when choosing the Union officers they vote to represent them. Information about our national APWU candidates is particularly difficult for our APWU Members to gather because the APWU represents more than 200,000 workers scattered widely all across the US and our national candidates hail from diverse locations all across the US as well. And campaigning for these offices is equally difficult because a candidate cannot afford in terms of time and money to visit every single Postal workplace in America. National APWU candidates tend to rely on the hard earned grassroots efforts of the ordinary workers they will represent, a process that is often takes decades to develop. In other words, name recognition, established reputation and word of mouth are actually more important to our candidates than slick fliers and advertisement mailings.
I have worked for other large corporations and I have been a Member of, and paid Union dues to, other large notable Unions. I currently serve as an APWU Shop Steward and have mostly since around 1995. I have served in other Local Union capacities as well. In all those years I have become fairly well networked within our national APWU organization so many of our Members ask me for my opinions which I give from the perspective of a Shop Steward on the workroom floor.
Many of our APWU Members recall my national prominence in various social media during the last national 2013 APWU election where I helped to argue successfully for our Members to VOTE OUT seven of our nine national APWU officers for giving us a contract that gave back some $3.8 Billion dollars of our wages to “Save the Post Office” from a financial crisis that was manufactured by Congress and the Bush administration in 2006.
The fact that our recently awarded new contract that President Dimondstein, who I campaigned so hard to elect, was able to achieve in arbitration is proof-positive that I was correct in all of my candidate recommendations and that I had given reliable advice to our Membership concerning which national candidates were the best choices then.
This election is much different in that there will not be a complete disaster if we elect a couple of candidates who are not our best choices. We are not facing a crisis of epic proportions as we were back then, at least as long as President Dimondstein remains healthy and remains our President. Otherwise such an argument could be made for our VP position which makes it the most important race in this election. Please take note of that fact.
So I have adjusted my approach to this election cycle where I have been concentrating more getting the vote out in my Atlanta Local (only 25% of us voted last time, but we voted more votes to the good than any other Local). Since there is no general agreement in the Atlanta Local for who the best candidate for each position are, my Local President wisely chose not to give blanket Local endorsements. I support and will defend his decision to anyone who would like to argue otherwise.
My recommendations are just that, solely my personal recommendations and do not reflect those of my Local or my Local President. My recommendations are intended for my fellow Atlanta Metro Area Local Members so they don’t include any candidates that will not appear on our ballots here. Many of my recommendations were very challenging for me because I know and an am personal friends with many of the opposing candidates. But you can’t be a successful Shop Steward if you can’t make hard decisions and place business above even close friendships. For this reason, objective recommendations and endorsements tend to hurt feelings and burn bridges. But any candidate that can’t get past that only demonstrate they lacked the character and fortitude to be worthy of my support or friendship in the first place. And certainly they did not deserve our Vote. I say to those candidates, suck it up, this is a tough business and only the toughest should apply.
Many will question my motives and selection process and that is a fair challenge. Mainly they are:
First, a candidate must demonstrate to me they have a viable chance of winning to gain my support.
Second, they had to be the better of choice of any other remaining viable choices for what we need on the workroom floor.
Anything after that is icing on the cake. So while I support a majority of President Dimondstein’s “Member’s Unity Team” candidates, I certainly do not support them all.
I briefly explain my reasons in the attached .pdf file of my recommendations.
Again, these are my personal picks for who the best viable candidates are to lead our American Postal Workers Union for the next three years.
YRMV, however I do want you to look back over my picks after this election and note just exactly how accurately I called each race. I say that because you can’t voice your opinions without the courage to face down your critics. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines as a spectator, but quite another thing to step foot on the battlefield of ideas and fight the righteous fight. Or, as I like to say, you can’t enjoy bacon without the hard work of a butcher.
Remember it’s only a Democracy IF YOU VOTE!
First Name: Mike
Last Name: Nodine
Union/Local : Atlanta Metro Area Local 32
Office held if any: Steward