The APWU National Executive Board voted on Nov. 5 to endorse Bernie Sanders for president. “Politics as usual has not worked,” said President Mark Dimondstein. “Enough is enough!” The endorsement follows Sanders’ rousing speech before 2,000 activists at the union’s All-Craft Conference in late October.
“We should judge candidates not by their political party, not by what they say, not by what we think they stand for, but by what they do,” Dimondstein said.
“Applying that criteria, Sen. Bernie Sanders stands above all others as a true champion of postal workers and other workers throughout the country,” he said.
“Sen. Sanders opposes the consolidation of mail processing facilities and fought successfully to keep the Vermont White River Junction center open,” Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy pointed out.
“He is a fierce advocate of postal reform to address the cause of the USPS financial crisis, an outspoken opponent of USPS policy that degrades mail service. He fought the close of post offices and spearheaded the effort to pass a ‘sense of the Senate’ resolution to restore service standards, which was approved by a vote of 85-11,” Dimondstein said.
“Bernie Sanders doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk. He is a leader in the fight to protect our public Postal Service,” he added.
“Bernie Sanders has blocked the slate of nominees to the postal Board of Governors that includes the ‘king of postal privatizers’ James Miller and payday lending industry lobbyist Mickey Barnett,” Dimondstein said. “He staunchly opposes postal privatization, and supports enhanced postal services, including postal banking.”
More Than Postal Issues
Sanders’ commitment to working people extends far beyond postal employees, Dimondstein pointed out. “No other candidate has his record of standing with workers on picket lines, fighting for a $15 per hour minimum wage, for free public college tuition, and advocating for veterans’ benefits.
“No other candidate has his record of fighting to defend and expand Social Security, promoting ‘Medicare for all,’ and opposing ‘fast track trade authority’ and rotten deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“No other candidate has his record of exposing the rule of the billionaire class,” he said. “Sanders is refusing all corporate money. He doesn’t have a ‘super-PAC,’ and he doesn’t hire polling firms to help draft election-time promises,” Dimondstein noted.
“Sen. Sanders was a champion of workers’ rights long before he became a candidate for president,” said Secretary-Treasurer Liz Powell. “Like the APWU, he is a firm believer in social and economic justice for all.”
“Our union is made up of people from all walks of life with many different political beliefs, and I fully respect that fact,” Dimondstein said.
“Sanders’ message coincides with the APWU’s core principles, as expressed in our constitution and by delegates to our national conventions,” he added.
From Enthusiasm to Building a Movement
“It’s little wonder that in a period of massive income inequality the Sanders campaign has generated so much excitement and drawn such huge crowds,” Dimondstein said.
“But Sen. Sanders is the first to point out that without a powerful mass movement, electing one individual – even the most righteous – will not defeat the corporate powers that exert so much control over our lives.
“I urge APWU members to join the ‘political revolution’ and get involved in the campaign – to volunteer, sign up for Labor for Bernie, and help elect Sen. Bernie Sanders President!”