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Written by Samuel Wood, President, Southwest Florida Area Local, APWU and candidate for APWU National Office
Can it be right to do wrong in order to do good for yourself? Should we care about how APWU political teams are formed in alliance against others? I generally say that while teams may be a good way of seeing whose side people are on. Generally, these teams are only formed to show the team represents locals from across the country and most importantly to save candidates money. If you look even further, you may see that some candidates were on the same teams in past elections. Why now are they on different teams? Why do they now trash their opponents who they once supported? Sometimes, these “Teams” are formed to protect their own National APWU jobs due to individuals becoming ineffective or having lost their passion to help those they represent and need to find a new team. Some simply want to make a difference by moving up. Most team names are carefully drafted to somehow show that those on the team care about those who they represent. However, do they really care, or do they just want to move to a more prominent position?
While I agree that most people running for national office are good people with good intentions, some candidates simply align themselves with a team they believe has the best chance to win. A few candidates on tickets do wrong in order to do right for themselves. We as voters must ask ourselves, what have these candidates done for those they represent in order to be blessed with our most important vote?
We have to ask ourselves, have our lives as an employee of the USPS or retiree gotten better or worse in the last five years? If worse, why is that? Is it because the environment in the workplace, under-staffing, forced overtime, cross craft issues, etc.? Is it because the healthcare increases sometimes outweigh the pay increases? Is it the thought of being forced into Medicare or Medicaid instead of the FEHB plans? If things are going great for you, then the election should be a very easy decision. If not, you must look at those running and decide whether candidates are opportunists, or whether their background shows that they were truly working hard for those who they have been fortunate to represent. Are they familiar with what is going on in the field, in your local or at your workplace? Can they imagine what it feels like to be a retiree on a limited income? These are some of the reason we all must vote in an APWU election. We must all look at each candidate and be able to tell who is full of B.S. and who really wants to improve your situation.
As far as teams go, shouldn’t every APWU candidate be on the same team? After all, candidates who win must be willing to work together for all of us after the election. We must create a culture of mutual respect and understanding of our opponent’s positions and inform voters of what they can do to improve our situations. I say it is far better to do right in order to do good for yourself.