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Federal Employees News Digest : Oct 21, 2013
real threat---privatization. That's our first aim, and how we will do it. Second, and equally important, is we hope to build a much stronger relationship with the other postal organizations, so that we are working more in concert. Whether in relation to postal management, or in relation to legislation, or in relation to how to rally the people in defense of their Postal Service---we must work together. And, third, we plan to put in effect as soon as possible---we don't assume office until Nov. 12---we hope to put in a coor- dinated plan. A coordinated plan to try to stop consolidations, plant closings and post office closings---which is what are currently being used to try to degrade and dismantle the service. Those three are our immediate tasks---and they're all obviously large tasks. They are our most compelling goals. In describing your goals, you includ- ed some of your strategy and tactics--- building a grand alliance, using certain approaches. But can you tell us more about how that will work? Will you build your grand alliance, say, by negotiating deals with each individual organiza- tion---through a diplomatic campaign? For instance toward the other unions, or, say, to the AARP and organizations representing older people in rural areas? Dimondstein: Yes, exactly. We are going to reach out. We know the post office in many communities---as you just mentioned, rural communities, but also in many urban neighborhoods---the local post office is the heartbeat of the neighborhood. Many of the people that it serves really don't have access to other communications with the world, with business, with their loved ones. So, yes, we're absolutely going to reach out to those organizations. Can you tell our readers how you think about, that is, tell us the ideas behind, your renewed effort to save the Postal Service from cutbacks? Dimondstein: Our outreach is in the common defense of the public good, the people's right to the Postal Service--- because it belongs to them. It does not belong to Wall Street---it belongs to the people. And, also this is in defense of good union jobs, which serve these com- munities well. Because if we don't have good union jobs, then it's hard to sustain good strong communities as well. But privatization is part of a strong ideology among many in Congress today. We've seen so far that postal employee organizations have not been strong enough to stop Congress pushing that direction. How will you succeed where past efforts---so far---really have been flagging? Dimondstein: This goes back to my previous answer. I think that Congress will move. History shows us this---that when the people are in motion, and defending their rights, proclaiming their rights and demanding their rights, you get results. And I think the right to the public Postal Service is like the right to a public education and public libraries. It's a basic and crucial right. People will rally behind that right, in concert with the unions---and we will build the scaffold, the structure, around this connection for this fight. And that's how we think we can best deal with Congress. That's exactly what happened in the civil rights movement, that's what happened in the building of the labor movement, that's what happened in the building of the women's suffrage movement. Remember also that in none of these ultimately suc- cessful movements did Congress start on the side of the people. Congress was moved. So, does that mean we are going to still pay attention to our [Washington work], our lobbying and legislative efforts? Absolutely. But those efforts only will go so far---given the politics in Congress that you described in your questions. Congress must be brought to feel the pressure of the people. Does that mean we might see ordinary people demonstrating with postal work- ers, or a letter writing campaign on a broader scale? Dimondstein: Absolutely. Our grand alliance is a grand alliance of action. The 99 percent. Doing what they can to defend their post office---and this defense cannot just be words. It is going to have to be a very active defense of the people's rights. Was that a failing of the previous APWU administration? That they played too much inside Washington? Dimondstein: I'm looking forward. Our union election is over. Having said that, I think that [in recent years] we missed an opportunity to more greatly involve the people in this fight. And with the people comes power. I'll leave it at that. Next week---specifics, including the fight against "prefunding," and more. Survey reveals financial fallout of shutdown A union last week released the results of a survey of its members that the orga- nization said demonstrated the cumula- tive financial effects that the govern- ment shutdown and sequestration cuts have had on federal employees. "This unnecessary shutdown is caus- ing enormous and real problems for our members, not to mention an unbearable level of anxiety and tension," National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley said in releasing the survey results. "Even after it ends, this shutdown will have lasting effects on federal workers and federal agencies." More than 400 NTEU members continued from page 3 continued on page 5 October 21, 2013 Vol. 63, No. 14 4 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com
Oct 14, 2013
Oct 28, 2013