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October 30, 2014
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Updated: Oct. 30 (08:03)

Teamsters Local 179
Teamsters Local 179
Normal IL depot project spurred economic recovery
Great Plains Laborers' District Council
Meet Dalton
IUEC Local 10
That Giant Rat Balloon is Protected by the Constitution
Teamsters Local 355
Raise the wage: a commentary on the Illinois ballot referendum
Great Plains Laborers' District Council
COLA Information

The sixth COLA of the contract was in the September 26, 2014 pay check. The amount was $686.00 for the year.

Christmas Exclusion Period

Yes, Christmas time is rapidly approaching. The time frame during which the Postal Service may pierce work hour caps and does not pay penalty overtime, is December 6, 2014 (Pay Period 26-14) through January 2, 2015 (Pay Period 1-15). This exclusion period does not change anything else regarding the contract.

Maintenance Craft Settles Dispute on Custodial Staffing; Will Convert More Than 3,150 PSEs

July 11, 2014 - The APWU and USPS signed a major settlement July 9 that resolves a long-standing dispute over custodial staffing and results in the conversion to career of all Maintenance Craft Postal Support Employees, Maintenance Craft Director Steve Raymer has announced. The MS-47 TL-5 is accepted (as it was modified during negotiations).

EAP Newsletter

APWU Human Relations Director Sue Carney is providing members monthly information to help our members to enrich their lives, and to cope with the various issues that arise in our daily lives. Whether it is stress from our jobs, finances, or aging, we all need help and assistance from time to time. This months newsletter looks at the issue of healthy aging.

Someone Else Died
Top Ten Reasons

Similar to Dave Letterman's top ten monologue, the American Postal Workers Union has put together their version. It is called the Top Ten Reasons Members Postal Workers do not attend protests of Staples. Unfortunately, unlike the satirical comedy of Letterman, this parody reflects our members lack of understanding how directly the Staples deal could affect their livelyhood. Look through this list, and see if any have been used by yourself or your co-workers. Then, think about answers to these reasons. Is there really a reason to not fight for your jobs?

See the list here.

Were you fooled? Staples and the Postal Service may have "terminated" the name of their privatization program, but they have not ended their nefarious plans. As Northease Regional Co-ordinator John Dirzius relates, "As you remember back on July 14 Staples announced that the company terminated its no-bid deal with the U.S.
Rally for jobs
Do not let the Postal Service fool you

Postmaster General and Staples seek to fool postal workers and the American people.

Beware of the wolf in sheeps clothing. The announcement released by the Postal Service that they are terminating their partnership is a ruse, an attempt to stop the tidal wave of opposition that has been building against this attack on postal workers and the middle class. These two corporate giants are renaming their attack, seeking a backdoor to take good paying postal jobs away. Keep on boycotting Staples and let them know, we will not be fooled.

For APWU President Dimondsteins press release, click here.

Video exposing PMG's lies

The PMG wants YOUR job

Postmaster General Donohoe is seeking to take your job, send it to Staples and other retailers, while looking you in the eye and lying. Watch this short video of APWU President Dimondstein expose the PMG's lies, share it with co-workers, family, and friends. Urge them to let these retailers, as well as the Postal Service, know that the US Mail is not for sale, and that the integral services provided by the Postal Service should remain with those entrusted with those duties and responsibilities. The sanctity of the mail, decent paying jobs, and the welfare of the American middle class must remain and be respected. View the video by clicking here.

New Hampshire AFL-CIO endorses APWU Staples boycott


Resolution: Support U.S. Postal Workers; Boycott Staples

May 21, 2014

Whereas, the U.S. Postal Service has entered into an agreement with Staples to operate postal counters in more than 82 “test sites” throughout the country,

Whereas, the U.S. Postal Service has plans to expand this operation to more than 1,500 Staples store across the United States;

Whereas, the U.S. Postal Service and Staples are refusing to staff the postal counters with unionized, uniformed U.S. Postal Service employees who have the training and experience to properly handle U.S. mail, and who have passed back ground checks and sworn an oath to uphold the highest standards of public service;

Whereas, these postal counters are instead staffed by low-wage, low benefit employees with little training and no credentials to handle U.S. mail;

Whereas, non-union "postal" jobs at Staples will inevitably replace living-wage, union jobs of U.S. Postal Service employees and will ultimately result in Post Office closures;

Whereas, current legislation in the U.S. Congress seeks to make it easier to close U.S. Post offices;

Whereas, consumers are increasingly concerned about identity theft at large retail chains and privatizing the handling of U.S. mail will jeopardize the sanctity and security of the mail;

Whereas, instead of offering lower quality service and selling off public assets, the U.S. Postal Service can and should use its unmatched nationwide network of people and facilities to better serve the public with expanded hours and new services, such as low-cost banking, which could aid millions of low-income consumers;

Whereas, New Hampshire AFL-CIO stands in support of maintaining public service, protecting good-paying jobs and maintaining universal, affordable mail services for the U.S. public;

Whereas, the NH AFL-CIO opposes privatization of crucial public services;

Whereas, the NH AFL-CIO stands with workers fighting a common battle against privatization, and

Whereas, many union members belonging to unions affiliated with the NH AFL-CIO purchase office supplies, school supplies and other products sold at Staples Stores;

Therefore be it resolved that:

• The NH AFL-CIO support the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) in its efforts to protect good-paying jobs and its insistence on the highest possible standards of customer service;

• Be it further resolved that the NH AFL-CIO opposes efforts by the U.S. Postal Service to privatize operations and to sell off valuable public assets;

• Be it further resolved that the NH AFL-CIO will urge friends, colleagues and family members, to no longer shop at Staples stores until further notice;

• Be it finally resolved that this call to boycott Staples will be communicated immediately to affiliates of the NH AFL-CIO, our community allies, to our sister unions and to the news media.

Keep an eye on Congress- It's your job at stake

Chairman Issa’s Latest Scheme

May 20, 2014

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has not been able to garner support for his extreme and anti-worker postal reform bill, H.R. 2748. As such, he has adopted a new strategy. He is now is attempting to move his dangerous postal reforms piece by piece. 

Issa’s first move in this strategy was to hold a hearing on April 8th with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the subject of the Obama Administration’s proposed budget.  Since 2011, the Administration’s budget has included provisions damaging to postal workers like permission to go to 5-day delivery, cluster boxes and amortized prefunding of retiree healthcare for 40 years. 

During the April 8th hearing, labor allies including Ranking Member Cummings (D-MD), Rep. Lynch (D-MA), Rep. Connolly (D-VA), Rep. Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Duckworth (D-IL) came to the defense of the American people and postal workers, derailing Issa’s attempt to paint the disastrous items in the Administration’s budget as bipartisan. Further, the OMB Deputy Director admitted under questioning that the OMB did not fact check the USPS’s bogus claims of savings, relied on misleading accounting methods, and failed to consult the Postal Regulatory Commission to evaluate USPS’s numbers.  

Undeterred, Issa scheduled a May 7th markup of a draft bill he titled The Administration’s Postal Reform Bill of 2014. In this draft were all the terrible items in the Administration’s budget plus mandatory cluster boxes and mandatory 5-day delivery among other tweaks. Unfortunately for Issa, his markup was postponed due to lack of support, as Democrats on the committee wanted no part of his bill. 

Now, Issa is at it again! On the morning of May 21st, the full committee will mark up a “door-to-door delivery bill” currently being drafted by Issa’s staff. This bill will likely mirror provisions in Issa's H.R. 2478 with some changes. On May 22nd, the postal subcommittee will hold a hearing on innovative technologies. Witnesses include: USPS,, Outbox and Impact Systems. 

The APWU will continue to monitor these hearings as well as any other developments. Please look forward for further updates. 

From APWU Email alers
Long Island Locals Protest Staples

Postal Workers Protest Agreement between Staples and U.S. Postal Service

(From Labor Press Notes)
April 28, 2014

By Beth Borzone

Kevin Tabarus, Pete Furgiulele, Walter Barton, and Roger Clayman pose in front of inflated rat to protest against Staples agreement with the U.S. Postal Service.

Farmingdale, NY -  Emblazoned with signs stating, “Stop Staples:  The U.S. Mail is Not for Sale,” over 100 postal workers protested in front of Staples expressing their concerns that the a recent deal between the U.S. Postal Service and Staples could hurt local economies, cost communities their local post office, and decrease the quality of mail service to citizens.

The protesting workers were members of a coalition of four postal unions that have formed an alliance called The

Postal workers protest outside Staples in Farmingdale, NY.

 Postal Union Alliance, according to Kevin Tabarus, Treasurer of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union. 

The National Association of Letter Carriers, American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, National Postal Mail Handlers, and the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association formed the Alliance back in March as a defense against what they saw as an “unprecedented attack” on the U.S. Postal Service.  According to the website of the American Postal Workers Union,  “Corporate privatizers seek to gain control over larger segments of postal operations – and to get their hands on the Postal Service’s $65 billion of annual revenue.”

The agreement between Staples and the U.S. Postal Service is really “a long, round about way to privatize the postal 

Passing cars and trucks often honked in support of the protesting Postal Workers who lined the street in front of Staples in Farmingdale.

service,” said Pete Furgiuele, President of the Long Island New York Area Local of the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, while standing in front of a twelve foot inflated rat near the entrance of the parking lot to Staples.

“We’re here today to protest the underhanded agreement between the United States Postal Service and Staples, Incorporated, which establishes 82 Staples stores having postal counters staffed by Staples employees who earn minimum wage and no benefits.  These Staples employees take no oath to service and all U.S. Postal workers are sworn in to provide the best possible service to the American people,” Furgiuele said, adding, “…we don’t mind counters being in their stores, but we want them staffed by members of the United States Postal Service.”

In addition to reducing the quality of postal service, Furgiuele fears the current agreement could leave some communities without a post office, because if Staples counters replace post offices in smaller communities, those counters could be lost if the Staples stores eventually close down.  “Recently, Staples has closed down 225 stores nationwide,” he said.

Roger Clayman, Executive Director of the Long Island Federation of Labor, expressed concerns about the impact the

Pete Furgiulele leads a chant of “U.S. Mail Not for Sale.”

 agreement would have on local economies, particularly in smaller communities.

“When you turn good jobs into minimum wage jobs, you drive the standard of the local economy downward, because the purchasing power of the members of the community is reduced, which hurts the economy,” Clayman said.

Particularly frustrating for Furgiulele and Walter Barton, President of the Long Island Merged Branch 600, National Association of Letter Carriers, is their belief that the financial crisis of the U.S. Postal System is in actual fact manufactured by Congress, forcing cost reductions that otherwise might not be necessary.

“In 2006, Legislation was passed called the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which requires the postal service to prefund future employees’ health benefits for the next 75 years, and the total payment must be made by the Postal Service from 2006 to 2016, thus costing the Postal Service, every October first, $5.5 to $7 billion per year.  No other private company or government agency is forced such a burden of payments.  No other company could succeed in making such payments.  Had it not been for this burden, the postal service over the last two and a half years would have made $650 million.  This requirement has totally crippled us and the Postal Service is using this as an excuse to reduce services and is threatening to sell off valuable assets of the postal system,” Furgiuele explained.

“Congress caused this (financial crisis) to happen and they could stop it, “Barton agreed.

Barton also urged keeping six-day mail delivery and not reducing delivery to five days, which the Postal Service is threatening to do.

In addition to protesting, Tabarus stated that his local has already started boycotting Staples.  “Nobody’s buying office supplies from Staples from Local 300.  There’s lots of other places to shop,” he said.

Furgiuele said that he would also be asking the help of the teachers’ union.  “We’re calling on the teachers’ union to also boycott Staples because of their power to buy school supplies for their students.”

“In every town across America, there is a fire department, a police department, a church, hospital, school, and a post office.  We are part of the fabric that holds this country together,” Furiuele said, noting the importance of the U.S. Postal System.

Four Major Postal Organization Agree

Historic agreement reached to work together to save the Postal Service!

To see the agreement, click here!

Agreement on Filling Residual Vacancies
The APWU has negotiated an agreement on filling residual vacancies; PTF conversions and PSE path to career is now about to be implemented!! APWU President Dimondstein has signed off on a historic memorandum that creates paths to PTFs converting to full time duty assignments, and PSEs converted to career status.
APWU vows fight against Staples deal

APWU Vows to Stop the Great Postal Giveaway to Staples

USPS Sends Jobs, Work to Staples

When Staples agreed to put USPS retail units in its stores, the office-supply chain may have gotten more than it bargained for.

 (01/01/14) In a deal that has been in the works at least since March 2012, the USPS announced in November that it was launching a pilot program to place postal retail units in more than 80 Staples stores in four states: California, Georgia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

Some of the sites opened quietly in October and others opened in November, including some where ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held. If postal management and Staples consider the pilot successful, the program may be expanded to the chain’s 1,600 other locations. Agreements between the USPS and other big retailers may follow.

“This is a direct assault on our jobs and on public postal services,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein declared when he heard the news. “The APWU supports the expansion of postal services. But we are adamantly opposed to USPS plans to replace good-paying union jobs with non-union low-wage jobs held by workers who have no accountability for the safety and security of the mail,” he said. “Postal workers deserve better, and our customers deserve better.” [read more]

‘Postal units at Staples must be staffed by career postal employees.’

– President Mark Dimondstein

The APWU also has requested a meeting with Ron Sargent, the Chairman and CEO of Staples, to discuss our concerns, Dimondstein said. He also expects to have additional discussions with postal management.

“While these efforts proceed, we will begin preparations for protests at Staple stores across the country,” he said. The APWU Executive Board discussed the issue via telephone on Nov. 22 and endorsed the plan to fight back.

“Postal management will undoubtedly try to convince our members that this arrangement is beneficial because it creates revenue for the USPS,” Dimondstein said. “But revenue without good union jobs is not in the interest of our members. Postal services that are performed by anyone other than well-trained postal workers will not serve the American people well,” he said.

“This is a huge step toward privatizing retail services,” Dimondstein said. “If we don’t draw a line in the sand, mail processing and other operations will soon follow.”

The Staples units will offer most postal products and services: They will sell stamps; accept first-class letters, Priority, Priority Express, standard mail, and first-class packages, and accept certified mail. The units will be operational during Staples’ business hours — as late as 9 p.m. on weekdays, on Sundays and many holidays. And, in a unique arrangement, the office supply giant will offer 5% Staples Rewards for the postage on packages paid for and shipped at its locations.

“We can only stop these privatization plans if we work and fight together,” Dimondstein said. “We will keep APWU members informed of any progress at the national level. In the meantime, prepare for action!”

President Dimondstein recognized the prompt action by our President, Pete Furgiuele, upon hearing of the Staples agreement. Read the letter President Furgiuele sent here. See President Furgiuele's action request by clicking the link below.

Download: boycott staples.pdf

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