APWU: Chaos the election and the contract

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I want you know I honestly believe the only way to save the APWU from a horrendously awful labor contract is to vote Mark Dimondstein out as National President this fall. I recommend voting for Tony McKinnon, Sam Wood, Jeane Gardiner and Scott Hoffman this fall. Any other combination of elected officials will surely lead us down a path that will result in disaster for wages, working conditions and benefits for our members. This article is just the tip of the iceberg. I will follow this article up with shocking financial data from the national’s LM-2’s as well as more detailed information I encourage you to think about what is being written and what it truly means.

“Aye my good brother. But you should know all too well who, and how much, they conspired and maneuvered against you in this election.”  Mike Nodine to Mr. McKinnon this is documented and cannot be refuted.

 

“I’ll just say that I was at that meeting behind the Union hall in Providence and Charlie did not say that he was offered cash. Was it implied? Maybe, ultimately it is clear an offer of some sort was made and accepted”  Charles Smith former APWU State of Washington, President and current post office Postmaster.

 

These were the initial key events that leads us to this day when the American Postal Workers Union is on the brink of losing 40 years of collective bargaining gains. Yes, it can be stopped but Mark DImondstein can no longer be President of the APWU. Tony McKinnon, Vance Zimmerman and Charlie Cash were amid a three-way race for APWU, Director of Industrial Relations. Tony McKinnon was the sitting Director of Industrial Relations and architect of the current APWU contract which is generally seen in a positive light. There was no secret Dimondstein and McKinnon had a strained relationship. McKinnon was destined to win as the incumbent in that election unless something changed in the three-way race. We will not draw a conclusion of why Charlie Cash dropped out of the race for Director of Industrial Relations a short time after the Providence National Presidents Conference or how large the conspiracy against Mr. McKinnon was but it definitely existed.

“Being Vance’s Assistant in DC, as an UNELECTED Assistant making $100K plus per year tells anyone/everyone all they need to know. That is NOT Unionism in any way, shape, or form. It’s disgusting and a slap in the face to every APWU dues-paying Member!” Terry Finnerty, former APWU National Business Agent

 

Vance Zimmerman who is Dimondstein’s closest confidant went on to win that race after a very calculated campaign that featured endless travel for months. Zimmerman a National Business Agent whose regular position was filled by another during his absence. For the year of 2016 Vance Zimmerman claimed zero dollars for travel before the month of November when he became the Director of Industrial Relations. Zimmerman’s job-related expenses for the months of November and December of 2016 were well in excess of $8000.  Although without asking for documents under the Freedom of Information Act there is no way to exactly know what Mr. Zimmerman claimed for travel expenses.

Mark Dimondstein’s first major mistake as President of the APWU was to terminate the employment of the law firm on the twelfth floor of the APWU building. Yes, they recommended the 2010 national labor contract that created a multiple pay scales and was considered a watershed agreement by many in the APWU. However, the law firm had approximately forty years of service with the APWU prior to the signing of that contract. In situations where the Industrial Relations Departments or Craft Departments would need legal help all they had to do was take an elevator to their office. In 2013 the APWU had a law firm with five lawyers in their building and paid several hundred thousand dollars less than they do in 2019 for only two lawyers who are not in the APWU building.

This firing of the law firm is only one of the conditions that have caused actual working conditions to decline for APWU members in America’s postal system. Mark Dimondstein’s focus on external causes rather than look for ways to upgrade the infrastructure of the APWU is costing clerks, maintenance workers, and MVS members jobs. Stewards, State and Local Officers need the tools to fight management and keep their locals organized. Mr. Dimondstein is focused on the social cause of the day and not the challenges that faces the people who pay his six-figure annual salary. One look at any official social media pages will show just how important other people are to Mark and how his personal interests are more important than the well being of his members.

In post offices across the USA APWU represented bargaining unit work is being performed by a plethora of OTHER postal employees. Crossing crafts and infringing upon duties that should be performed by APWU represented employees is busy as usual in a lot of post offices. Staffing is worse than at anytime known since horses were used to deliver the mail! The focus for a next administration should place a priority on protection of jobs in even the smallest locals and for members at large. Concessions voted down by the current Rank and File Committee which included taken hours away from PTF Clerks in smaller offices to give to their Postmasters are a joke. How anyone would consider provisions such as this “fair and positive” is totally beyond comprehension. It is clear a President who has not actually worked in a post office since mail was worked by hand or sorted on letter sorting machine is totally out of touch with the current reality.

Mark Dimondstein is the gift that keeps giving. Unfortunately for APWU represented employees he continually gives their work away and feels completely just in the process. Recently the APWU under Dimondstein’s leadership signed an agreement to settle allied work covered under RI-399. The Southwest Florida Area Local has won millions of dollars in this dispute by hiring lawyers at their OWN LOCAL’s expense. (See above, Mark fires lawyers). Dimondstein’s responded by saying this brings us one step closer to being one union. Oh well! A bunch of people get converted to unassigned regulars or excessed in one form or another. But congratulations you might just get to be a PTF mail handler someday. That is not a battle won! It is a very clear loss!

In Dimondstein’s “fair and positive” contract he conceded Line H grievances, so maintenance workers lose work. Unless Dimondstein is voted out of office and someone is elected who will stand up for our rights maintenance will suffer job losses. (See above, Dimondstein gift that keeps on giving). Scott Hoffman wrote about watering down the language in article 12 in Dimondstein’s “fair and positive” agreement. Article 12 covers important issues such as seniority and excessing. These are CORE PRINCIPLE’s unions are built upon. We ask ourselves why would a national union President who speaks of unity and solidarity SELLS OUT his own members on core principles a union is founded on? The bottom line he is severely out of touch with those he represents. There can be no other conclusion.

It is clear Mr. Dimondstein shows respect for no person in his employment. Numerous reports of hostile behavior toward APWU officers prevail. It would seem Mark DImondstein is taking a page out of the postal service playbook and applying it to the American Postal Workers Union. His publicly demeaning behavior toward Vice President Debby Sveredy is only one example many have witnessed. How can you help people working under difficult and hostile working conditions when you are guilty of that same hostility toward people who work for you?

Jerry Stidman

Ordinary postal worker

 

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