John P. Smeekens
Participate and Persist
I have been avoiding writing about politics for several months. Trying to give the President an opportunity to fulfill his duties and work toward making America great again. I have always believed that America is great. I believed it before the election and I believe it today. I have not seen any great gains made by the Trump administration. I have seen some choices, appointments and comments that I believe injure our standing in the world and workplace.
It’s pretty difficult to miss the daily onslaught of negative reports. Where will it go? Will it get reigned in? As union and Federal employees are we in financial danger?
I am not writing this article to debate Russian interference, healthcare, guns, God, Muslims, abortion, the wall, or any of the hot topics that seem to trigger contempt among us regular folks. I have a right to my opinion and so do you. We do not have to agree on everything, but I would like us to try to work together to maintain, preserve and improve our Federal Union jobs. I want our medical insurance, union rights, pay, and benefits to remain intact or improve.
I would hope we can agree on that last sentence. And if we agree on that, then we need to work together to remind our elected officials that we are working America. And we want America to be great for working families.
We have to get involved in more than Facebook and Twitter. We need to write letters and make phone calls. Show up when other Unions strike or have rallies. We need to build alliances as union employees and public employees. Because there will come a time when we need our allies to show up and raise their voices on our behalf.
School teachers, fire fighters, policemen, and other Federal employees are fighting similar issues as we are. We have all fought and worked hard for our negotiated rights, benefits and salaries. We need to stand up for each other when those like us are being targeted as overpaid or prime for privatization. The days of only paying Union dues are no longer enough to keep our ship afloat and righted.
There are many ways to assist. Throw on an APWU T-shirt and attend a rally, call or write letters to your elected officials. Let other public sector employees know we care about their issues and want to stand with them. There is always COPA and donations are always welcome.
National Legislative Director, Judy Beard, is planning on forming Rapid Response Teams that will have APWU t-shirts and provide training and information on standing with other unions and talking points to get them to stand with us. You do not have to be a union steward to help. As a Union member your participation is integral. Just a few minutes here and there can make the difference. It is necessary to be seen and heard. It is necessary to let our representatives know when they are doing right by us and it is necessary to let them know how their actions or inaction will negatively affect us. To find phone numbers and mailing addresses for your US House Representative go to: www.house.gov/representatives/find For our US Senators the link is www.senate.gov/senators/contact/ One or two calls and letters a month on topics that concern you can make an impact. Please do what you can, while we still can.
E-Mail links are intended for questions of a general nature and are not for formal administration of the grievance procedure. Individuals with specific questions and or problems must contact their steward within 14 days in order to protect grievance time limits.
The 480-481 Area Local maintains offices at 810 Livernois in Ferndale, Michigan 48220 and represents all APWU members in the following USPS installations: Almont, Allen Park, Anchorville, Belleville, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Brighton, Carleton, Chelsea, Clarkston, Clawson, Davisburg, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Fair Haven, Flat Rock, Garden City, Grosse Ile, Hartland, Hazel Park, Highland, Keego Harbor, Lake Orion, Marine City, Marysville, Michigan Call Center, Michigan Metroplex, Milan, Milford, Mt. Clemens, New Baltimore, New Boston, New Haven, New Hudson, Novi, Oxford, Pickney, Plymouth, Pontiac, Port Huron, Richmond, Rochester, Rockwood, Romeo, Romulus, Royal Oak, South Lyon, South Rockwood, St. Clair, Sterling Heights, Trenton, Union Lake, Utica, Walled Lake, Warren, Washington, Waterford, Wayne, Westland, Willis, Wixom, Wyandotte and Yale.
The Union office is normally open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday and the telephone numbers are (248) 543-3262/3263/3264. The 24 hour number is (248) 543-3262. FAX: (248) 543-2750.