The APWU National Executive Board voted on Jan. 29 to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President of the United States.
In light of the importance of the presidential election and in response to many inquiries from members as to the union leadership’s position, a number of “top tier” candidates, or their designees, were invited to address the Executive Board. Candidates who oppose the public Postal Service were not invited.
“We’re pleased that a number of presidential candidates have positions and have taken actions supportive of postal workers and expanding union rights. But when we judge candidates by their long-term and consistent actions, Bernie Sanders stands out as a true champion of postal workers and all workers throughout the country,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.
“Bernie Sanders has proven he is a fierce advocate on the side of postal workers. He has opposed the closures of postal facilities and reduced service standards. He has been a leader in the fight for expanded postal financial services and was the lone senator who stopped postal privatizers from appointments to the Postal Board of Governors.”
Senator Sanders’ commitment to working people extends far beyond postal workers. He has a long record of walking picket lines, fighting for living wages and health care as a human right, advocating for veterans’ benefits, promoting expansion of social security and opposing every job-killing trade deal like NAFTA. Because of his record, Senator Sanders is now rated as the most popular senator.
The positions of the Sanders campaign align with the APWU’s core principles of social and economic justice for all, as expressed in our union Constitution and by delegates to our national conventions.
In a speech to APWU convention delegates, Sanders displayed his long and passionate commitment to the public Postal Service and opposition to all efforts aimed at postal privatization: “The beauty of the Postal Service is that it provides universal service six days a week to every corner of America, no matter how small or how remote. It provides decent paying union jobs to some 500,000 Americans and is the largest employer of veterans…. Yet, the Postal Service is under constant and vicious attack. The same billionaires who want to privatize Social Security, Medicare and public education also want to privatize the Postal Service….The wealthy and the powerful see an opportunity for Wall Street and corporate America to make billions in profits out of these services and couldn’t care less how privatization or degradation of services affects ordinary Americans.”
Bernie Sanders accepts zero corporate dollars and his “Not Me, Us” campaign slogan reflects Sanders’ belief that the campaign is not about electing one individual but rather, “… building a movement with millions of Americans to take on a corrupt political system that holds in place a rigged economy.”
“The National Executive Board encourages members and their families to be registered to vote and where available sign up for absentee ballots to exercise this “vote by mail” option, continued Mark Dimondstein. “The Executive Board fully recognizes and respects that our members come from all walks of life, hold many differing political beliefs and vote according to their own conscience. However, for the Executive Board to remain silent at a time when the current administration advocates selling the entire public Postal Service to private corporate interests, would be a failure of our leadership. As with 2016, once again the Sanders campaign is boldly uplifting the goals and aspirations of workers. Simply put, we believe it is in the interests of all postal workers, our job security and our union to support and elect Bernie Sanders as president.”