In explaining why he gave up the title of APWU “President Emeritus”, Bill Burrus says he did it because some in the APWU leadership were preparing to rescind the honor in retaliation for Burrus’s scathing criticism of the contract the APWU negotiated with the postal service. Burrus now calls that contract “the worst contract in the history of collective bargaining”:
The contract was ratified by a vote exceeding 70% of the voting members and I continued to express the negatives that were intended to be shifted to the next generation of postal employees, but the agreement was so badly written that even the positives that were highly trumpeted were unenforceable. The employees who were expected to benefit on the backs of the next generation began to realize that the promised positive changes were smoke and mirrors and my criticism intensified. The apologists for the worst contract in the history of collective bargaining took offense and turned their anger at the source of the criticism in defense of their flawed decision to support a contract that reduced wages by 40% for nothing positive in return. The contract could not be renegotiated so they directed their wrath at my criticisms in an effort to punish me for serving as a rallying point for the growing number of unsatisfied members. With few options of retaliation, they proposed the withdrawal of Emeritus status.