Labor Union

American Postal Workers Union

logo (link)
Website:

www.apwu.org/

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

52-0913725

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $59,937,582
Expenses: $41,987,127
Assets: $78,448,017

American Postal Workers Union (APWU) is an AFL-CIO affiliated labor union made up of over 220,000 United States Postal Service workers. [1] [2] Mark Dimondstein, a labor activist previously associated with Jobs With Justice and Labor Against War, became the APWU’s president in 2013. [3]

Through 2016, under Dimondstein’s leadership, the APWU opposed the use of Staples employees to provide in-store postal services,[4] led a public pressure campaign to prevent a merger of Staples with Office Depot, [5] and approved a resolution encouraging members to participate in Black Lives Matter demonstrations. [6]

The APWU repeatedly opposed the postal service policies of the Trump administration and its Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy. Disputes with the administration occurred over how much relief to grant the USPS in response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic,[7] reorganization plans to prevent USPS insolvency,[8]  and the degree to which mail-in voting should be prioritized during the 2020 presidential election. [9]

Background

American Postal Workers Union (APWU) is a trade union made up of over 220,000 employees of the United States Postal Service. [10]

APWU was founded in the aftermath of the postal strike of March 1970. Defying the illegality of a federal workers’ strike, a group of postal workers in New York City voted to strike 1,555 to 1,055 after Congress capped pay raises at just over 5 percent for postal workers while voting itself a 41 percent pay hike. The striking New Yorkers were joined shortly thereafter by workers in 30 other cities, and the resultant chaos crippled the nation’s mail system, forcing President Richard Nixon to deploy the National Guard to distribute mail. The strike eventually resulted in a retroactive 6 percent raise for postal employees, and one month later the passage of the Postal Reorganization Act guaranteed another raise, collective bargaining privileges, and a binding arbitration clause “in lieu of the (already nonexistent) right to strike.”  On July 1, 1971, five smaller union organizations (the United Federation of Postal Clerks, the National Postal Union, the National Association of Post Office and General Service Maintenance Employees, the National Federation of Motor Vehicle Employees, and the National Association of Special Delivery Messengers) merged into APWU. [11]

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., APWU is an affiliate of AFL-CIO. [12]

In 2016, 2,000 delegates of APWU’s national convention unanimously backed a “Black Lives Matter” resolution which declared “…the APWU will encourage its members to participate in any rallies, petition drives, or other actions pursued by the campaign against racial discrimination and for transparency in policing.” [13]

Leadership

Mark Dimondstein was elected President of APWU in November of 2013. He previously helped co-found the Greensboro, NC chapter of Jobs With Justice, and was a coordinator with Labor Against War. [14] During his leadership campaign he sued APWU for allegedly being unresponsive to requests for union member email addresses ahead of his election. [15]

In 2014, Dimondstein criticized office supply company Staples for its decision to streamline its delivery system by allowing in-store postal services staffed by Staples employees. The “pilot program” was seen by Dimondstein and other APWU members as siphoning off jobs that should have gone to union employees, who accused Staples of privatizing federal postal work.  A similar program had been tried with Sears department stores in 1988, but was shut down after a protest and letter-writing campaign by APWU. [16] The program was changed in July 2014 to allow Staples to be an “approved shipper” for USPS, Fedex, and UPS, but Dimondstein referred to this change as a “ruse” since Staples would still be allowed to handle about 80 percent of the services available at post offices with in-house employees. [17]

During this conflict, APWU also opposed Staple’s 2015 merger with Office Depot by publishing white papers, launching a letter-writing campaign, announcing a boycott, and finally meeting with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC later blocked the merger. The Staples program ended in 2017 after 3 years of protests. [18]

In July 2014 Dimondstein led a vote calling for then-Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to resign, later filing charges with the National Labor Relations Board over a possible breach in cybersecurity involving its teleworkers. [19]

Donahoe, who had drawn fire from Dimondstein and APWU by cutting postal services in an attempt to save money at underused branches, resigned in November 2014 after 39 years with the USPS. [20]

On June 4, 2020 Dimondstein testified before the Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Elections regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic and voting rights. [21]

Campaigns

U.S. Mail is Not for Sale Campaign

APWU repeatedly ran into friction with the Trump administration and the president’s appointee as Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy. President Trump has criticized the USPS’s business model, as well as proposing increased prices for its services to stave off its continued financial problems. [22]During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the USPS experienced a sharp drop in letter deliveries, offset by an increase in package delivery, which APWU predicted would result in its insolvency by October 2020. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reportedly blocked a $13 billion grant to the USPS, compromising instead on a $10 billion loan as part of a larger COVID-19 relief package. [23]

APWU pursued an additional $25 billion in aid for the USPS as part of its “U.S. Mail is Not for Sale Campaign,” objecting to DeJoy’s proposed solvency re-organization for the postal service. In a memo leaked to the Washington Post, DeJoy called for cutting late-in-day additional deliveries, temporarily delaying mail delivery until the next day rather than making extra trips. [24]

In a video response to these and other conflicts, Dimondstein said that Trump was trying to drive the USPS “into oblivion.” APWU also gathered 2,000,000 signatures for a petition to the U.S. Senate to urge the passing of the “Heroes Act,” a projected $3.4 trillion stimulus package backed by House Democrats and containing a number of left-progressive priority policies. In the same video, APWU advocated for a mail-in presidential election in 2020. [25]

Postal Banking Project

At a rally with Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) on December 17, 2015, APWU delivered more than 150,000 signatures to Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Strowman asking for permission for USPS to expand into postal banking services. The aim of this ongoing project is to provide short-term payday loans that would generate extra revenue for the USPS. [26]

Collective Action Teams

The APWU’s Contract Action Teams (CATs) were originally created to generate support for the APWU position in collective bargaining negotiations with the Postal Service. After contract negotiations were completed in March 2020, these small organizational groups were rebranded “Collective Action Teams,” and repurposed as local advocacy cells to promote the union’s perspective in worker disputes with management. [27]

References

  1. APWU. “Our Union.” APWU Website. Undated. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://apwu.org/our-union#:~:text=The%20APWU%20represents%20more%20than,Vehicle%2C%20or%20Support%20Services%20divisions. ^
  2. APWU. “AFL-CIO Affiliation.” APWU Website. Undated. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.apwu.org/afl-cio-affiliation ^
  3. APWU. “Mark Dimondstein.” APWU Website. Undated. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.apwu.org/mark-dimondstein ^
  4. APWU. “APWU Vows to Stop the Great Postal Giveaway.” APWU Website. Undated. Accessed August 6, 2020.  https://apwu.org/news/apwu-vows-stop-great-postal-giveaway ^
  5. APWU Staff. “After Years of Protest and Boycott by APWU and Allies, Deal Between US Postal Service and Staples Ends.” AFL-CIO Website. January 7, 2017. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://aflcio.org/2017/1/7/after-years-protest-and-boycott-apwu-and-allies-deal-between-us-postal-service-and-staples ^
  6. APWU. “APWU Statement on the Killing of George Floyd and the Continuing Struggle for Justice.” APWU Website. June 1, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.apwu.org/news/apwu-statement-killing-george-floyd-and-continuing-struggle-justice ^
  7. Heckman Jory. “Trump Sets Ultimatum for USPS to Raise Prices Before Approving $10B Emergency Loan.” Federal News Network. April 24, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://federalnewsnetwork.com/agency-oversight/2020/04/trump-sets-ultimatum-for-usps-to-raise-prices-before-approving-10b-emergency-loan/ ^
  8. Bogage, Jacob. “White House Rejects Bailout for U.S. Postal Service Battered by Coronavirus.” The Washington Post. April 11, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2020.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/11/post-office-bailout-trump/ ^
  9. APWU. “US Mail is Not for Sale.” APWU Website. Undated. Accessed August 6, 2020.  https://www.apwu.org/us-mail-not-sale ^
  10. APWU. “Our Union.” APWU Website. Undated. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://apwu.org/our-union#:~:text=The%20APWU%20represents%20more%20than,Vehicle%2C%20or%20Support%20Services%20divisions. ^
  11. USPSOIG. “The Postal Strike of 1970.” USPSOIG Website. Undated. Accessed August 6, 2020.  https://www.uspsoig.gov/blog/postal-strike-1970   ^
  12. APWU. “AFL-CIO Affiliation.” APWU Website. Undated. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.apwu.org/afl-cio-affiliation ^
  13. APWU. “APWU Statement on the Killing of George Floyd and the Continuing Struggle for Justice.” APWU Website. June 1, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.apwu.org/news/apwu-statement-killing-george-floyd-and-continuing-struggle-justice ^
  14. APWU. “Mark Dimondstein.” APWU Website. Undated. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.apwu.org/mark-dimondstein ^
  15. Citizens.Org “Memorandum in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction.” Citizens.org Website. August 9, 2013. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.citizen.org/wp-content/uploads/dimondsteinpreliminaryinjunctionmemorandum.pdf ^
  16. APWU. “APWU Vows to Stop the Great Postal Giveaway.” APWU Website. Undated. Accessed August 6, 2020.  https://apwu.org/news/apwu-vows-stop-great-postal-giveaway ^
  17. Luna, Taryn. “Staples-Postal Service Deal Revised.” Boston Globe. July 14, 2014. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/07/14/staples-post-offices-going-away-but-services-won/UU4Sc5BEgGTGOkX6ehK5FJ/story.html ^
  18. APWU Staff. “After Years of Protest and Boycott by APWU and Allies, Deal Between US Postal Service and Staples Ends.” AFL-CIO Website. January 7, 2017. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://aflcio.org/2017/1/7/after-years-protest-and-boycott-apwu-and-allies-deal-between-us-postal-service-and-staples ^
  19. Williams, Jake. “USPS Cyber-Breach.” Fedscoop Website. November 12, 2014. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.fedscoop.com/usps-cyber-breach-agency-halts-teleworking-union-files-charges-nlrb/ ^
  20. Katz, Eric. “Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to Step Down.” Government Executive. November 14, 2014. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.govexec.com/management/2014/11/postmaster-general-patrick-donahoe-step-down/99047/ ^
  21. House.gov “Testimony of Mark Dimondstein.” House.gov Website. June 4, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://docs.house.gov/meetings/HA/HA08/20200611/110770/HHRG-116-HA08-Wstate-DimondsteinM-20200611.pdf ^
  22. Heckman Jory. “Trump Sets Ultimatum for USPS to Raise Prices Before Approving $10B Emergency Loan.” Federal News Network. April 24, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://federalnewsnetwork.com/agency-oversight/2020/04/trump-sets-ultimatum-for-usps-to-raise-prices-before-approving-10b-emergency-loan/ ^
  23. Bogage, Jacob. “White House Rejects Bailout for U.S. Postal Service Battered by Coronavirus.” The Washington Post. April 11, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2020.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/11/post-office-bailout-trump/ ^
  24. Bogage, Jacob. “Postal Service Memos Detail Difficult Changes, Including Slower Mail Delivery.” The Washington Post. June 14, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/07/14/postal-service-trump-dejoy-delay-mail/ ^
  25. APWU. “US Mail is Not for Sale.” APWU Website. Undated. Accessed August 6, 2020.  https://www.apwu.org/us-mail-not-sale ^
  26. APWU. “Postal Banking.” APWU Website. Undated. Accessed August 6, 2020.  https://www.apwu.org/postal-banking ^
  27. APWU. “The CAT’s Next Life.” APWU Website. March 16, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.apwu.org/news/cats-next-life ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

Coalition Memberships

  1. Alliance for Retired Americans
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 1973

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $59,937,582 $41,987,127 $78,448,017 $2,546,613 Y $0 $57,771,803 $1,121,406 $11,022,304 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $56,846,519 $51,689,244 $59,291,153 $2,459,228 Y $0 $54,359,172 $1,147,886 $10,952,620
    2015 Dec Form 990 $57,744,913 $46,838,726 $53,660,304 $2,256,268 Y $0 $51,946,434 $1,609,061 $11,289,296 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $52,248,138 $50,591,056 $46,441,711 $2,227,040 Y $0 $49,653,271 $1,209,636 $10,696,280 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $58,275,180 $53,334,047 $43,400,740 $2,353,648 Y $0 $48,402,977 $1,030,047 $11,181,885 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $55,699,237 $53,016,364 $39,142,317 $2,625,230 Y $0 $51,971,158 $1,288,256 $10,859,382 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $51,915,105 $53,733,026 $37,978,288 $4,727,177 Y $0 $48,837,343 $895,677 $11,261,959 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    American Postal Workers Union

    1300 L STREET NW
    WASHINGTON, DC 20005-4107