Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
Thank you for caring enough about our union to read this and other candidate statements. Elections matter and have consequences. I seek your vote to be your National Business Agent(A). I believe in the following: Union Principles before Personalities. These principles were instilled in me early in my life. As a result, I have represented workers my entire adult life.
I, like many postal workers, grew up in a Postal Union household. My Father was a 3 term NALC Branch President in the 1970s. I distinctly remember my father directing his officers and stewards never to give back anything to management. “It would take years to reclaim what was given away,” he said. I, to this day, have made that my mantra in all negotiations with Postal management.
Before entering the Postal Service, I was a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union employed by Luckys/Gemco. UFCW went on strike over wages and working conditions. At 19, I was elected to the position of Strike Captain by my fellow co-workers. My co-workers who were much older than I, recognized my Union spirit and leadership skills.
At USPS, I became a Shop Steward for Tri County Area Local in 1986 and subsequently was designated as an Area Steward. In 1991, I experienced excessing first hand and was involuntarily reassigned to the San Bernardino P&DC. Upon arrival, I was designated a shop steward for the California Area Local. Believe it or not, excessing proved to be a blessing.
During my time with the California Area Local, I have held the following positions: Steward, Chief Shop Steward, Research and Education Director, Business Agent, Vice President, Executive Vice President, Acting President, LDRC committee member, LMOU negotiator, and currently Secretary/Treasurer/ Business agent. I have served with distinction and dedication.
I am committed and dedicated to communicating with our Local officers, Stewards and Membership to develop a continuity that must be achieved in order to prevail in the grievance- arbitration procedure. The grievance procedure is about people not politics!
During my term as Executive Vice President, I was successful in negotiating and securing the staffing jurisdiction over the Low Cost Tray Sorter at Moreno Valley DDC for the Clerk Craft. This was one of the first times that the APWU Clerk craft was successful in securing clerk craft jurisdiction over the LCTS in the entire nation. Fighting for clerk jobs has been the hallmark of my quest to serve members.
In representing working families, I can proudly state that I was able to make a positive difference in their lives, whether it was saving their jobs, getting them converted to Full-time status, securing the membership hundreds of thousands of dollars in grievances, and most importantly, taking the time to listen and console the membership regarding their fears and concerns. I pledge to continue to do so!
I firmly believe that we must and can find ways to fight grievance appeals and not look for ways to close out cases. You see, the National Business Agent is the last person standing between your case going to arbitration or being settled for pennies on the dollars or even worse being closed out. I feel your pain and have seen and experienced the disappointment of indifferent representation.
In order to prevail, we must stand together, educate each other, and most importantly place Union Principles before Personalities. The key is continuity and working together with other officers and stewards throughout the nation to achieve success. Just because the issue was arbitrated on the east coast doesn’t mean we can’t prevail on the west coast. We must stop accepting defeat. We must get creative and find pathways to achieve success.
Your NBA must make the grievance procedure work for you! While an NBA wears several hats, the NBA must never forget why they were elected. Your NBA must provide viable training that is applicable to the cases being handle in the field and not join with management to tell us what we cannot do. This can be accomplished by listening to local officers and stewards who are fighting on the front lines. And just as important listening to your needs. You work to live, not live to work. Our union contract must be enforced!
A starting point is to ensure the proper tools and application of these tools are readily accessible and available for the fight on the front lines. We, must again, place Union Principles before Personalities. I am committed to working closely with all NBAs and the Western Regional Coordinator Omar Gonzalez to ensure no stone is left unturned to give you quality representation. People not politics!
As previously stated, I have dedicated my entire adult life to fighting for the working-class family. I have the experience, knowledge, progressiveness and attitude to fulfill the duties of National Business Agent. I have never, and will never, apply and/or accept an EAS position. I do not hold hands with management and never will.
I will be visiting offices throughout California and Nevada prior to the election and I look for forward to meeting you in person. I can be reached at email@example.com if you wish to obtain campaign material or have any questions on issues you face. Finally, I thank you again for taking time out to read my statement and for your support.
Vote for Rick Ruiz, National Business Agent Clerk Craft(A). You won’t regret it!