Editorial: One Reason To Vote NO On APWU Tentative Agreement

By Dan Sullivan, APWU retired, Southwest Michigan Area Local
There are plenty of reasons for union members to vote in favor of the tentative agreement between the American Postal Workers Union and the Postal Service. You can find most of those reasons on the general comment and editorial pages of 21cpw.com and in the sales pitches put out by APWU national and local officers around the country, people who are more knowledgeable about the tentative contract than me.

I know only one thing about the proposed contract. And the one thing I know is the reason why I could never vote for it or ask any union member to vote for it.

The one thing I know is that it asks us to accept for future postal workers wages that none of us would accept for ourselves.

The principle guiding me is called the Golden Rule. Jesus put it another way, telling his followers to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Twenty centuries later American union organizers phrased it slightly differently, but they meant the same thing when they took as their rallying cry the slogan “An injury to one is an injury to all.”

Other cultures and religions have similar ethical teachings. It seems to be a universal idea.

If you wouldn’t vote yourself a pay cut, you shouldn’t be willing to vote a lower pay scale for new workers. That is if you believe in the Golden Rule and the union concept of solidarity.

The workers in Wisconsin aren’t locked in a life-or-death battle with corporatists and right wingers – and they didn’t take over the Capital building – just to save their own hides. They’re also fighting for future generations. And so are the unionists from around the Midwest and the nation who streamed into Madison to support them.

And the same can be said for the union workers battling right-wing, corporatist regimes in Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Indiana and elsewhere.

Maybe some think it’s old-fashioned to stand on principle. Or just stubborn. But I can’t forget about the future generations of postal workers when I vote on the proposed contract.

I’m voting no.

10 thoughts on “Editorial: One Reason To Vote NO On APWU Tentative Agreement

  1. If you vote yes, you will destroy everything we have gained since the APWU began. Even Burris, who has nothing to lose or gain said he would vote NO

  2. How about if we call management dirty-moneygrubbing and greedy, I don’t see alot of reference to the millions of dollars paid out to all crafts for failure to bargain in good faith. Or how about the proposed 7500 supervisors offered 20000 to retire, do the math 150 million dollars, and you are worried about public perception. Maybe the APWU needs to quit worrying about their so called legacy an get us a contract that works for all of us fairly. Tell me what management is giving up to help save the postal system, it sure isn’t their bonuses that are based on how many of use they can get rid of. One last thing, unless it has changed, those mid level supervisors that are being offered 20000 to leave don’t have a contract protecting their jobs, so maybe they should hit the road without anything, the post office is way to top heavy anyway. Fire them and save the money.

  3. this contract is like all the rest, one percent raise a year .a promise of a cola that inflation took careof. as for future workers, oh well. us older workers the only thing we have left is money.

  4. This proposed agreement destroys the 40 hour work week, which has been the standard for American Labor since 1938. It does so without explanation.
    This proposed agreement provides insignificant raises, while deleting signifcant Cost of Living Adjustments.
    This proposal offers nothing, but the promise of job security. However, the authority to provide Job Security is beyond the scope of this contract.
    This contract will be approved in an atmosphere of ignorance and irrational fears, stoked by management and the union for their own selfish purposes.
    Approve it, and regret it for years to come.

  5. Bringing Jesus into this picture just sounds like science fiction to me. I believe in this contract unlike your Jesus.

  6. I will admit to feeling some trepidation about voting yes on the new contract.
    However given the current political climate and anti-union sentiment that is prevalent in society right now, I must vote yes.

    If we vote No-the press & of course the USPS will call us dirty money-grubbing
    and greedy. No reasonable person would accept that we are looking out for future postal workers. Hell, in 20 yrs there may not even be a post office as we now know it.

    Times are changing. Our postal jobs are not as relevant as they were when we all took the job. We need to consider the contract based on the facts of right here
    right now. Vote yes-we need to buy some time for a generous VERA for APWU

  7. To speak of future generations of new hires as though they had no free will to even take the job in the first place is a little wrong. When searching for work, don’t we all consider the conditions of employment? If someone doesn’t like those provisions then they don’t have to accept the job or at least take it with the plans to find something better when it comes along. If you’ve seen how these contracts go, you know each one is looked at with the current conditions at the time and the needs of the members. Right now seems to be pretty tough economic times that most people would feel lucky to have the provisions of the current tentative agreement, whether they are a current employee looking to keep their job or an unemployed new hire with the hope of seeing future contracts that may address any inequities that may exist in the future. This contract is not written in stone for future generations to suffer the sins of their fore fathers. Over the many contracts that we have seen, there has been many compromises, and those compromises have been addressed in future contracts when economic times allowed such. A bird in the hand seems to me to be much better than gambling on the unknown outcome of two in the bush of a arbitrator in the current economic and political times. When I think of what is right for future new hires, let’s help them to have a job to come to with some hope of the future in contracts that are yet to be negotiated instead of everyone very likely taking a heavy loss now in arbitration and not having the hope of becoming equal in the future. Only a YES vote now will secure a better future for those new hires and secure the present jobs for us now! That is why, as Jesus showed by example, I will vote YES because if I were a new hire I would want a job with that hope of a better future. IMHO

Comments are closed.