November 11, 2013
By Neal Tepel
On November 12, 2013 the 196,000-member American Postal Workers Union (APWU) will have a newly elected team of national officers. The "Members First" slate lead by Mark Dimondstein, won seven of nine national offices, including Mark Dimondstein as president and Debby Szeredy as executive vice president. Their victory comes at a time when "Save America's Postal Service" activists are demonstrating and meeting with legislators across the country.
With only 25 percent of members casting ballots, Dimondstein defeated "Leadership Team" incumbent President Cliff Guffey by a 12 percent margin, with nearly 27,000 votes.
The election demonstrated the rank-and-file discontent with the the Guffey incumbent leadership team's endorsement of the 2010 contract that reduced compensation and benefits for new hires and included a two-year wage freeze for all APWU members.
The membership had become increasingly concerned about the downsizing of postal services. The Postmaster General (PMG) has closed or consolidated half of the nation's mail processing plants. One-third of the postal offices, mostly rural, took between 25 to 75 percent reductions in retail hours. Ten percent of post offices are up for sale. Trucking, mail processing and mail handling are being subcontracted. Close to 200,000 jobs have been eliminated in the past five years. And overnight first class mail has disappeared in many parts of the country.