I ask each and every one of you to find a way to vote in the upcoming elections. It is the greatest single power you are given as an American to determine your future. As the election process ramps up, we will be inundated with TV commercials, mailings, phone calls, and visits to our homes with information concerning candidates for office. Many of the TV commercials produced are designed to cast doubt into your mind of the candidate you wish to support. Relying on this doubt to convince you not to vote. Everyone must resist this division and manipulation and still vote.
Modern day politics have done a great job at dividing people of the electorate to ensure they vote a certain way. This division has not been good for workers as parties have been able to carry the mantle of social issues to make you support one side or the other. This division dilutes our power as workers to influence the process. The end result is a degradation in working conditions and ability to work a full-time job and live with dignity and respect.
We as Postal Workers see this from the President of the United States as he is demanding we as public civil servants to a cut to our pensions to the tune of 143 billion dollars. In addition, soon after the election, the President will release a proposal which sells off the USPS to a private enterprise. This will be the first time a President has proposed this for the only federal agency defined in the US Constitution. Further, legislation has been produced and promoted by the Republican party run by the President to make the entire United States a “right to work” country. The facts are, in the States with right to work, wages and benefits of workers decline significantly. I am into my 8th year as President of the St. Paul, MN APWU and I have rarely stepped into encouraging you to take sides in an election. This year is different in light of outright disdain shown to workers over the last couple years.
When you vote this fall, I hope you consider your job as the means to provide dignity and respect to your families. I hope you understand the real threat the Republicans and the President of United States are to these jobs with decent wages, benefits, and retirement and vote accordingly. We can argue over the social issues, but at the end of the day, we as Postal Workers need to protect our jobs. It has never been so clear and stark who is threatening them.
If we can mobilize and exercise our power in this election we can protect the United States Postal Service from privatization and your right to be able to retire with dignity. Please do not miss this opportunity to stand with working people in the upcoming election. Your job depends on it.
The Minnesota AFL-CIO and the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation have screened candidates and endorsed those who are willing to stand with workers on our issues.