Western

AFL - CIO

Branch 2184

Wayne County, MI

Vice President's Report

May / June 2020

Our Common Good

 

“To work for the Common Good is the greatest creed”

(Albert Schweitzer)

 

      There is no point in rehashing what has happened during the past several months. Instead, let us recognize our own, Branch 2184’s active members and their courageous and selfless response to an unprecedented national emergency. Let us also look ahead to a world, a nation, and yes, a Postal Service that is now forever changed in ways that will continue to profoundly alter each of our lives, from our newest CCA to our oldest retired member.

      The human species evolved in a manner somewhat unique from the millions of other species that evolved during the past few billion years of our planet’s history. We have an advanced capability for rational thought, although that is a frequently underutilized human trait. Too often, irrational fear, misinformation, political manipulation, and an exaggerated sense of invincibility lead to poor decisions and also to selfish and irresponsible behavior, as we have witnessed from some.

      Unfortunately, just like all the other species here on planet earth, we humans did not evolve an immunity from pathogens and other disease-causing organisms nor an immunity from the stupidity and selfishness of other humans. Thus, we are left to respond to the realities of global threats such as viral pandemics. We do so both individually and especially collectively. Some in positions of leadership in government and in other human institutions have failed miserably in their response to the COVID-19 emergency, instead engaging in cowardly scapegoating and fostering division among the American people.

      On the other hand, America’s letter carriers have once again responded with courage and dedication, even as some of our own members and their families were ravaged by the COVID-19 virus. The USPS work environment during the past several months has been fraught with unprecedented challenges. Yet, instead of complaining and engaging in childish and divisive behavior, letter carriers simply pressed on regardless, an inspiring and patriotic symbol of the best in our nation’s people.

      Historically, America’s letter carriers have always been the public face of the common good. This has never been more evident than in times of national or global crisis, or in times of more localized natural disasters. During recent decades letter carriers responded to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the ensuing anthrax attacks with courage and resolve. Following natural disasters in our nation ranging from hurricanes and tornadoes to floods, fires and earthquakes, letter carriers stepped up and delivered much more than just the mail. In doing so, their actions have inspired others to renew their embrace of our common humanity.

 

Delivering the Future

 

      As our nation and its people slowly recover from the pandemic and its vast impacts on all our lives, letter carriers will continue to take a leadership role. This will be occurring against the backdrop of an eventual interest arbitration award on our National Contract as well as the continuing financial and imminent political threats to the Postal Service itself.

      Additionally, there will be a National election on November 3 that is critically important to the future of the Postal Service as well as the interests of every American worker and their families. The USPS has become an essential option for American citizens in the forthcoming election, as voting by mail will be critical for ensuring that no American has to choose between risking their health and their sacred right and duty to participate in the electoral process.

      Voting by mail is safe and secure, contrary to self-serving and politically motivated misinformation spread by those that have long sought to obstruct and suppress the right of all Americans to vote. What is essentially non-existent “voter fraud” only exists in the minds of those would do it themselves, given the opportunity.

      Voting by mail even provides a verifiable paper trail – paper ballots cannot be hacked. Active letter carriers should take full advantage of absentee voting here in Michigan, which is now available to all registered voters. Most letter carriers will be scheduled to work as usual on Tuesday, August 4 and Tuesday, November 3, the dates of the primary and general elections in Michigan. Why not complete your own ballot at your leisure, taking all the time you need to be fully informed about the candidates

and the issues?

      Through it all, our current motto simply but eloquently states the case for the world’s finest delivery service employees. We Deliver. Letter carriers always have. Letter carriers always will.

 

-- Joe Golonka

Vice President