Working Women Respond to Postal Workers’ Woman-to-Woman Organizing
When the female leadership of the Postal Workers (APWU) discovered the majority of the nonmembers they represented were women, they didn’t just mourn about this gap in union membership. They organized.
Although the APWU represents all clerical, maintenance, motor vehicle and support service workers at the U.S. Postal Service, under federal labor law, the workers do not have to join the union. Some 20 percent of the workers the union represents at the nation’s 37,000 postal facilities are not members.
Inspired by the discussions of woman-to-woman organizing during the 2005 Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) convention, the 17 women who were elected national officers approached APWU President William Burrus with a plan to focus on recruiting women.
The result: Since March, some 7,184 workers have joined APWU. The success of the Women’s Organizing Campaign isn’t limited to women—many male workers are among the new members.