2019 is an election year for APWU National Officers and before we know it, we will be inundated with campaign materials in our union halls and breakrooms. Large mail processing plants across the country will have people passing out campaign flyers and our social media timelines will contain information about candidates who are hopeful their run for office will be successful. I challenge all APWU members to engage in the process and take the time to vote when the ballots are mailed out this fall.
Traditionally only 20 to 25 percent of APWU members cast a ballot. This is truly sad as the people who secure office from our union elections will touch APWU members for the rest of their lives and even the lives of your loved ones until they pass from this world as well. Think about it. Your retirement pension, survivors benefits for your spouse, and retiree healthcare are in the hands of approximately one in four or five APWU members who cast a ballot. You are conceding a lot of power and influence over very important lifetime issues to a very select few members who choose to vote. Vote and encourage your peers to vote as well. It is in all our best interest.
You pay dues to be a union member and your dues pay a lot of people dramatically more money than you make to look out for your best interest. For me that means I want union officers who do their best to insure I have a safe and secure working environment. They protect my rights not to be harassed by management and that rules don’t change daily. I want to know they have negotiated the strongest contract possible and that it is enforceable by my local officers. After all the best contract in the world has absolutely no value if it can’t be enforced. For selfish purposes I encourage you to vote for candidates who will put your wages, working conditions, and benefits above all other things. Look for candidates who will focus on your core needs as a union member.
This is also a call for people to run for APWU National Offices. It would truly be great if every APWU office that can be contested is contested. If your life is structure in such a way you could live in Washington, DC and you have well developed skills. Run for office. If your motives are pure and you want nothing but the best for APWU represented employees. Run for office. Choice is a great thing and something our members need more of. This includes all National Business Agent and Regional Coordinator positions as well. Don’t give one incumbent an easy pass. Make this an election truly decided by the majority of the membership.
Finally, this is the one season that comes around every third year where people who are running for office are very accessible. Call or email incumbents and ask them why they adopted a position on an issue. Recently I read where President Dimondstein answered a question by an ordinary rank and file member via email. He may not answer every question but I’m confident he will answer a few. Do the same with every other candidate you have a question for. Do your best to insure every candidate is vetted as well as possible. There is too much at stake. Know all you can about the candidates you vote for.
First Name: Jerry
Last Name: Stidman
Union/Local: APWU – Terre Haute Area Local