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The Union Will Do It ...

By Rhonda Massari, Branch 725

How many times have you made this statement or have heard another letter carrier say these very words? The Union will do it.

We often sit back and wait for the “Union” to stop an aggressive supervisor to or resolve an ongoing problem or perhaps a violation of the National Agreement.

As we sit back and wait, do we ever consider what that Union is?

The answer is simple. The Union is YOU!

The Union is not some grandiose far away entity which oversees our very existence. Sure, we elect shop stewards and Union officers to handle the administration of grievances and the daily attacks on our members. However, each one of us has a responsibility to make the lives of letter carriers better. No longer can we sit back and allow someone else to take on all of our burdens and responsibilities. We all must play and integral part. Simply paying dues is not enough.

Anyone who has ever been a shop steward or union leader is well aware of the difficulty in protecting our rights. Taking a leadership role is never easy. But each one of us has a responsibility to stand behind our brothers and sisters, to become a leader. When you see a violation of the contract…Stand up and fight. Speak with your shop steward and make a statement, be a witness. Each and every time we ignore an aggression toward another letter carrier; we weaken our cause and give management the incentive to continue with their egregious practices.

Stop and take a look ……Do you criticize your Union leadership, your shop steward? Do you second guess grievance handling or decisions made by Union leaders on your behalf? If you do, think very hard about what you are doing. Remember, that steward or other union official gives up a great deal of his or her personal time to try to make the lives of letter carriers better. By verbally criticizing your shop steward or other union official you are only fostering an environment of which management WILL CAPITALIZE ON! They take pure delight in seeing one member attack another. They sit back and watch, as we destroy ourselves from within. It is like a cancer which spreads slowly until it has eaten away all that is good and what is left is no longer strong enough to fight.

Don’t like what you see? Think things can be done differently? Great!!! Get involved. It is YOU that can make things better. It is YOU that can stand up for letter carriers rights. It is YOU that can get involved. Because, after all, The Union is YOU! Instead of saying “The Union will do it” say…………I CAN DO IT! The job you save may be your own.