Time’s Up APWU

(This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Central Region Coordinator Sharyn M. Stone

This is a tough article to write because by the time you read it, we could either have a contract or be headed for binding interest arbitration. Our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expires on September 20, 2018. Hopefully we have achieved a fair and just contract and maintained the hard-fought protections we have achieved. Our negotiations’ team, headed up by President Dimondstein, serves us well.

Even if all is complete with the CBA, we have miles to go before we sleep. The constant threat of Article 12 excessing, reorganizing, mismanagement, harassment, coupled with the President’s threat to privatize the Postal Service into oblivion is still in play.

Have you called your member of Congress? Nothing should be more inspiring and more motivating than a threat to our livelihood and the continued existence of the Postal Service committed to serving every community even though sometimes you can’t help but wonder whose side is the USPS is on. They run the Postal Service as if they want it to fail. Why? Whatever private business ended up owning the Postal Service would never hire ex-postal managers to run it. We have faced difficult challenges in our past and we will face all future challenges unified and “fighting today for a better tomorrow”.

No matter what happens, we will always stand up for safe jobs, protest to put an end to workplace harassment, and fight to keep the post office a viable community service for all.

Young Members Committee

At our 2016 convention, a committee was created – made up of APWU members 35 years of age and younger. Convention delegates recognized our need for members, and especially younger members, to step up and become involved with the union for our longevity.

What better way to move forward than with a group of enthusiastic engaging young members. President Dimondstein appointed, with recommendations from the five Regional Coordinators, two members from each region to participate on the Young Members Committee (YMC). These appointees are also involved with their locals and have their support. Since that time the committee has functioned with the Coordinators serving as their advisors. The YMC is an excellent group of young people.

We have communicated with YMC members on an ongoing basis. We provide advice, and knowledge about the APWU Constitution and our contract with the USPS as support for the committee’s efforts. We assist them whenever possible in learning about the union and how it works – politics and all (just kidding). As an organization, we need everyone’s involvement.

The YMC provided a well-attended workshop at the Craft Conference last year in Las Vegas. I am positive my fellow coordinators: Omar Gonzales Western Region, John Dirzius Northeast Region, Mike Gallagher Eastern Region, and Kennith Beasley, Southern Region join me in congratulating the YMC for what they do and in encouraging them into the future. It is important if we are to survive and grow as a highly functioning viable organization into the future, we need all members to get involved, not just for the issues like the new CBA or CAT teams but for the future of our organization. Younger members involved at every level should inspire all members to become involved.

Everyone may not want to be a steward or officer or not even serve on a committee, but what about being a knowledgeable re-enforcement on the work room floor? Every member can participate in some

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USPS Contractors Charged With Stealing Mail at Rochester NY airport

10/4/18 ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Chansen R. Diaz, 30, Cordell L. James, 28, and Michael R. Harris, 31, all of Rochester, NY, were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy and theft of mail. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, defendants Diaz and James were employed by a terminal handling services contractor to the United States Postal Service, located at the Rochester Airport.  The contractor was responsible for receiving and loading U.S. Mail onto airplanes for further delivery. While on the job, Diaz and James stole mail entrusted to the care of their employer, including numerous gift cards and credit cards. The complaint states that Diaz was observed rifling and opening mail, while James acted as his “look out.” The scheme began in approximately August 2018.

James resided with defendant Harris in Rochester. Records obtained from online retailers showed that Harris ordered multiple items from online accounts in his name, and that those items were delivered to Harris and James at their residence. In addition, video surveillance obtained from local retailers showed Diaz and Harris shopping together and making purchases using stolen gift and credit cards.

The defendants made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson and were released pending further proceedings.

If you believe you have been a victim of mail theft, please contact the U.S. Postal Service. Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG), at www.uspsoig.gov or 888-USPS-OIG.

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kenneth Cleevely, Eastern Area Field Office, Pittsburgh, PA, the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector-in-Charge Joseph Cronin, Boston Division, and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eric Laughton.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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