The origin of labor unions dates back to the eighteenth century and the industrial revolution in Europe. During this time there was a huge surge of new workers into the workplace that needed representation.  In the United States history of unions, early workers and trade unions played an important part in the role for independence.

American Federation of Labor (AFL), founded in 1886 by Samuel Gompers. The AFL had approximately 1.4 million members. The AFL is credited with successfully negotiating wage increases for its members and enhancing workplace safety for all workers.  The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) under John L. Lewis and the larger AFL federation underwent a huge expansion during World War II. The AFL-CIO merger occurred in 1955.    A labor or trade union is an organization of workers dedicated to protecting members’ interests and improving wages, hours and working conditions for all.  APWU is a member of AFL-CIO.

No matter what you do for a living, there’s a union with members who do the same thing. Unions represent: teachers, factory workers, mechanics, office workers, pharmacists, doctors, nurses, and many workers.

Did you know there are over 60 national/international unions that represent millions of workers across America and Canada?   What do Labor Unions Want? Increasing wages; raising the standard of living for the working class; Ensuring safe working conditions and Increasing benefits for both workers and their families.  Employers are trying to shed responsibility for providing health insurance, good pension coverage, reasonable work hours and job safety protections. Additionally, companies are making workers’ jobs and incomes less secure through downsizing, part-timing, contracting out, and sending jobs off-shore.

The Benefits of being a Union


America’s working families need the representation, collective power, PRIDE in work and fair treatment in the workplace that we ALL deserve.

The APWU is in the process of negotiating a new contract this year.  Please support APWU as we support you.    REQUEST a steward, when you see management performing bargaining work such as; moving mail, loading machines with mail, clearing jams, fixing DB’s. FSS, FSM, SPSS Barney, remember to use the lock out tag out when preforming repairs, transporting the mail to a station(s) and the correct level mechanic and area office is performing building maintenance functions. Remember the motor vehicle mechanics; they tow the trucks into USPS shop, diagnosis and repair.

Diane Richardson, IRD