By: Sardebra Wright, Vice President
Hello Retirees! There has been so much going on that we need to discuss. For the past few months the President and myself have been battling with the local and the national to become full-time members of the local. One reason was to bring more understanding to the local members about the legislative aspect of our union. It was unfortunate that the past local President Paula Mullens was not supportive of the retirees,but now that she is no longer the leader of the local this is a new day. If I were a munchkin in the Wizard of Oz, I’d sing the song they sang when the house fell down on the wicked witch. The legislative issues that surround postal employees and retirees is important to our very existence. We have fought for our benefits and have endured mistreatment from management to make sure we receive our pension and health benefits without Congress trying to destroy us. The retirees make the union strong and even now we are on the forefront fighting for postal rights when postal employees can’t.
Imagine my surprise when we were denied the opportunity to pay more money to the national. We were told by National Secretary Treasurer Elizabeth Powell’s office that we did not meet the requirements to become full-time dues paying members. She failed to tell us what requirements we failed to meet when asked. Secretary Treasurer Powell wouldn’t return my telephone calls nor did any of the other national officers respond to our questions or our request for the minutes of the meeting held discussing our paying more money to the national. Astonishing! Who turns down more money for the right reasons? Two retirees on fixed incomes are asking to pay approximately 40 times more than they currently pay and the national says no way. We were disrespected and treated as if we were a threat to the members rather than retiree members in good standing. President Dimondstein bears the responsibility for his officers and their actions or should I say lack of action. These officers should not remain as the leaders of the American Postal Workers Union. Elizabeth Powell should not remain as the Secretary Treasurer of the national union. She has served honorably in the past but it seems that she no longer cares about the entire membership only her buddies in the APWPU women’s movement. This present administration seems to be failing us. We do more on our own spreading the word about the fight for postal workers than the national representatives put together. The retirees are doing the job that the legislative department is being paid to perform and we’re treated like the enemy. When our leaders fail to get the big picture, they fail at their job. You have to have a heart for the people to represent. You have to want to get in the fight everyday for the people who matter. Our leaders appear to be overwhelmed and we need to put them out of their misery. If we can send our local leaders packing when they become ineffective, we should do the same to our national leaders and as fast as is humanly possible. Or should I say as fast as their little feet can carry them because they aren’t leaving any big footprints to follow in. They all seem tired as if they didn’t get their iron for the day. They are just collecting a paycheck. Our vote matters fellow retirees, let’s use it wisely. We need a new group to represent our needs.