APWU President William Burrus told delegates to the 20th Biennial National Convention that the union is “alive and strong.” Despite the nation’s frail economy, “We can point with pride to the fact that our members were shielded from the tragic effects of layoffs and downsizing,” he said.
“I draw no greater satisfaction than knowing that despite the storms that gathered, our members were covered by the umbrella of union representation,” he said.
“We continue to fulfill the primary responsibility of a labor union: Providing outstanding representation to postal employees,” the union president said in his final State of the Union address.
Responding to Challenges
“The anemic hiring practices of the Postal Service,” coupled with the effects of automation, subcontracting, computerization, and worksharing have conspired to reduce our ranks, Burrus noted, but union commitment is strong.
“We have weathered the storm and, among the remaining employees in the APWU bargaining unit, we have achieved a record high voluntary participation rate,” he said. More than 83 percent of eligible postal employees belong to the APWU.
To address the reduction in membership rolls, the union launched “aggressive budgetary controls, reducing the union expenditures in excess of the membership losses,” Burrus said. The union has experienced budgetary surpluses in each year of this administration, he said, reflecting the union’s determined efforts to remove from the budget costs that are unrelated to representation.
In an unprecedented step to strengthen the union for the future, the APWU invited members 35 years of age and younger to participate in the convention as guests.
“We hope that when you return home, you will remain committed to the fight for our future,” Burrus told them.
click here for a full report on APWU’s 20th Biennial National Convention