Cleveland Postal Workers Send Local Union Mail to Educate Fellow Members About Barack Obama
by BernardPollack, Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 06:03:28 PM EDT
On September 19, APWU 72 activists mailed 2,100 mailings to active and retired members of APWU 72, which covers the Cleveland, Ohio area. The mailing included a letter from APWU 72 President Danny Pride and a flyer about Sen. Barack Obama's policies on working families' issues.
Mr. Pride said, "The active members' main concern right now is really the economy, because it is in such a tailspin that it affects the wages and how far you can stretch a dollar. And with the collapse of these major institutions here lately, I'm sure it's going to create some more anxiety. Fortunately for us, we have a very good collective bargaining agreement which kind of buffers us from some of that," but because even union workers must consider their economic foundation shaky these days, it's important to make sure they have the information they need to make educated decisions on Election Day.
Beverly Shealy, President of APWU 72 Retirees' Chapter, said that for member education, local union mail is ideal, especially for reaching retired workers. "All of them aren't able to come down to our retiree meetings, so if we keep them informed by a mailing then it keeps them abreast upon what's going on," she said.
Velma Chism, President of the statewide chapter of Ohio APWU retirees, was in the local union hall on Friday to help finish the preparation for the mailing and take the boxes of envelopes to the post office. She's getting ready to send a mailer to all Ohio APWU retirees; she likes the comparison flyers that show both candidates' positions on retirees' issues like health care and Social Security. "Obama is the best candidate for working class and middle class people. From what I've read and what I've seen, I don't think McCain compares," she said.
When we spoke with statewide APWU President Terry Grant, he agreed - "There is no other choice [than Obama], as far as I'm concerned," he said. Grant also emphasized the importance of member education through local union mail. APWU goes even farther, though. Mr. Pride said, "We realize that we can't reach all of our members using just one medium," he said. The local also maintains a website and quarterly member newsletter that include political information.
Charlotte Simpson, Secretary of the Cleveland APWU Retirees Chapter, and Patricia Kennedy and Paul Renshaw, both APWU retiree activists, were also in Local 72's hall Friday, stuffing envelopes and helping get the mailer ready. Renshaw, who served as a Director of Safety and Health for APWU 72 before he retired, called out to passersby on the drive to the post office to drop off the mailer: "Excuse me, are you registered to vote?" he asked anyone near enough to hear.
Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RsouiZBk Lg to see the video.