Messages from Moe

Brothers and Sisters, Happy Labor Day! 

    I want to begin by thanking everyone who attended this year’s National Convention—not just for the time and kindness you showed me personally—but for caring as much as you do about the future of our great union.   In particular, I truly want to thank and commend the members of the host local for their incredible hospitality.  You did the A.P.W.U. proud!

    At each of our union’s events, I feel like I am drinking from a well that recharges the 
soul, and never more so than at our National Conventions.  To see so many brothers and sisters so passionate about the future of the A.P.W.U., gathered together in our common struggle, never gets old for me.  I have been truly blessed to have spent the many years I have as a part of something so much greater than myself.  So, to all of the members of the A.P.W.U., and to those who attended our National Convention this year, I just want to say, “You Rock!”

    At the National Convention, I did meet a few people who were uncertain about my position on outside organizing.  So, Brothers and Sisters, let me state this as simply as possible: 

A.P.W.U. first!!!  

    I am committed to outside organizing, but our priority is, was, and always must be A.P.W.U.   We cannot be a credible force for organizing others until the A.P.W.U. itself is a model example of union organization.  Should you elect me to be our union’s next Director of Organization, I promise you I will not rest until the A.P.W.U. is 100% organized.  Please see my previous messages for more of my thoughts on this vital issue.

    Labor Day is our day--a day to remember where we came from and how much those who preceded us sacrificed to win what so many, today, take for granted.  Never forget that many people gave their lives so that we, their children and their children’s children, might have even something so fundamental as the right to organize and collectively bargain.

    Brothers and Sisters, let us reflect upon the sacrifices of those who came before, who were killed or imprisoned simply for wanting nothing more than a living wage and safe working conditions.  Let us appreciate the benefits their sacrifices have provided us all.  Then, Brothers and Sisters, let us vow to unite to continue the struggle, in their name and in the name of every working person in America—past, present and future.  The American working men and women are the backbone of our great nation—the heart and soul of America—and there is still so much work to be done.  Make no mistake, our adversaries are united and working hard to steal back the gains that we and our predecessors have given blood, sweat and tears to win.

    Our struggle is the struggle of every working man and woman in America.  We built this country, we have fought and died in its wars, paid our taxes and built every road and building in it, from one coast to the other.  And all we’ve asked in return is a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.  We must not rest on our past victories, Brothers and Sisters.  Because, if we do so, we will most certainly lose all that we have won.  You think the days of sweat shops and child labor are long gone, never to return?  Look around you.  There are politicians who now speak openly about rolling back every protection the labor movement has won over the last century.  They are saying, without shame, that the minimum wage causes unemployment, that the eight hour work day is an outdated concept, that safety regulations are too burdensome, and just what, they’ll wonder aloud, is wrong with a twelve year working in a factory.  These very powerful individuals point to the working men and women in this country—the people whose hard work made them rich and powerful to begin with—and say that we are the problem, that we are too lazy and greedy and unAmerican.  Brothers and Sisters, unions are the only thing that stands between us and the conditions that existed for working men and women 100 years ago.  

    Brothers and Sisters, we must stand united.  Whichever candidates you choose to support in the coming election, we must all stand together when it is over.  Being united in common cause is the source of our great strength, an amplification of all of our voices.  Only together can we protect the legacy of those who died for the 8-hour work day and safe working conditions.  Only together can we face the challenges that lie ahead.  

    As happens in any campaign, there has been a fair amount of name calling and the leveling of irrelevant and unfair charges.  I would ask, Brothers and Sisters, that you refrain from such things.  I certainly hope that you’ll support me for the position of Director of Organization.  I believe that I possess the vision, passion, dedication, energy and commitment to help bring our union to even greater heights than ever before known.  But, whomever you support, name calling and the like only serves to distract us from our common goals and to divide us.  If we are divided, we will surely lose the struggle.  We are all on the same side.  We are the good guys.  We get to wear the white hats.  I never forget that and I hope that you won't forget that, either, in the intensity of the current campaign season. 

    I notice, too, Brothers and Sisters, that my driving to union events, rather than flying, has been made an issue.  I find this laughable.  If that is the best my detractors can do to run me down, then I’d say they haven’t got much.  I flew in the Navy, in service to our great country.  I can and will fly to events, if that’s what the membership demands.  But I do feel that we’d all be losing out in that scenario.  In my years as President of Boston Metro, I never missed an event simply because of preferring to drive to get there.  I never missed attending a speech or a committee meeting because I was “too tired” from driving.  Were the roles reversed, how many events would others have missed if told they could not fly but must drive?  Would you drive from Boston to Las Vegas for a conference?  If anything, I believe my driving to events speaks to the depth of my dedication to the A.P.W.U.  

    More than that, though, my dedication to our common cause is well demonstrated by my willingness to be on the workroom floor every day and by my track record at Boston Metro.  Believe me, the union always had a forceful presence at Boston Metro and management never forgot that we were there—standing up for every member of the A.P.W.U.  I know that, with the help of other dedicated Brothers and Sisters throughout the country, I can bring that same presence to every workroom floor in the Postal Service.  I love driving to union events because, Brothers and Sisters, I love this great country of ours.  I love driving through the countryside and drinking in the flavor of every corner of America.  And, personally, I think it would be an asset to have an Organizing Director who not only attends conferences and conventions, but stops at local offices along the way—just to let management deal with a National A.P.W.U. presence in their faces for even a short time.  I leave this issue to the membership to decide, but know this—I was always there for Boston Metro and, should I be elected, I will always be there for you.

    Brothers and Sisters, enjoy this Labor Day and remember that we must always be united, strong and proud.  We are the A.P.W.U. and Never Gonna Quit!!!

Yours in UNION Solidarity,

Moe Lepore,                                                                                                                                Candidate for “Director of Organization”, American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO


August 6

Private Sector Organizing

     I am a passionate believer in union.  I have seen, firsthand, the tremendous difference unions have made, not only in my own life and the lives of other A.P.W.U. members, but in America as a whole.  Unions built the middle class in our country and it is the middle class that has made our country strong and great.  Yes, my passion for union knows no bounds.  But there are, in our nation, political forces with just as great a passion against unions of any kind.  And the sad truth is that these forces have enjoyed great success in demonizing and destroying unions in recent decades.  One need only look at the current state of our economy and the current unemployment numbers to appreciate the effects of their anti-union policies.  It is as clear a cause and effect as any could be.  Anti-union forces have argued that it is unions that cause economic distress. Brothers and Sisters, how could that possibly be when the facts clearly show that our economy was at its strongest and growing when union membership was at its peak and the economy’s struggles have grown worse as union membership has declined.

    The A.P.W.U. has remained strong and proud through this continuing struggle.  But, even as we have fought back continued attempts to privatize the postal service, our adversaries have been doing through the back door what they have been unable to achieve directly.  While we must fight hard to ensure that we keep the work that is rightfully ours, we must also reduce outsourcing temptations through the organizing of those in the private sector who are already doing our work.

    I am absolutely committed to organizing our Brothers and Sisters in the private sector.   I believe we must do this with the clear understanding that our priority is and always will be the A.P.W.U.  Members need to know that outside organizing is at least as much about protecting our own jobs as it is about anyone else’s.  And we should proceed accordingly.

    To date, the A.P.W.U. has spent millions of your hard earned dollars with very little progress to show.  This is not to cast blame on anyone in A.P.W.U.  Rather, it is a call to refocus and redouble our efforts.   It is time for us to recognize that half measures will yield poor results.  We can not continue singling out one work place at a time, only to have that business close up and move elsewhere just as we begin making headway. Brothers and Sisters, it is time to let the dogs out and to utilize the wealth of talent A.P.W.U. has waiting on the sidelines for their chance to get into this game of organizing the unorganized in America.  Make no mistake; any organizing effort is going to be long, hard and expensive.  This is a reality the anti-union forces have worked hard to create.  But, when you find yourself outnumbered and outgunned, you can either surrender or develop a coordinated, strategic approach.  Brothers and Sisters, I do not believe in surrender.

    First, I believe we need to get our own house in order.  We need to make of the A.P.W.U. a shining example of what union can be.  We, as a union, must all be united and engaged in this struggle—from the national President down to the newest hire.  As an old saying goes, “when spiders unite they can tie down a lion.”

    At the same time, we need to build stronger bonds with our brothers and sisters of the AFL-CIO.  Our struggle is their struggle, our successes are their successes and our failures are their failures and vice-versa.  This is the very heart of unionism.  An injury to one is an injury to all.  The history of unions is sadly littered with examples where jurisdictional jealousy has served none and injured many.  At a time when private sector union membership is only 7.2%—and overall union membership just over 12%—all union brothers and sisters everywhere need to put aside all other concerns and combine their energies and resources in the struggle for our common goals.  By joining our resources and efforts in a coordinated, strategic plan of attack, by being truly united in this struggle, I believe we can greatly increase our chances of success.

    My Brothers and Sisters, I do not profess to know all the finer points of outside organizing, but what I do know is how to mobilize men and women in the AMERICAN WORKPLACE.  Boston Metro has maintained its number one status by continually working hard to represent our members at all costs and educating management that we are not going anywhere.  This mindset and knowledge I will carry with me in this position, if you honor me with your vote and elect me as your next A.P.W.U. Organizing Director.  I truly believe I will get positive results in both sectors with the unmatched energy and passion that has been the hallmark of my long career fighting for my Brothers and Sisters in the work place.  I have negotiated many contracts and I know that management is management wherever you go.

    If I am elected, please know that I am not beholden to anyone and I do not intend to sit in an office on my computer all day.  I will, instead, travel throughout the land to work with my Brothers and Sisters, listening to your concerns and ideas to strengthen our great Union in all corners of our country.  The only promise I will make to you is to work nonstop each day to make us stronger than ever before, with the help of the many dedicated Brothers and Sisters who also share the dream of a stronger Union, because no one corners the market when it comes to loving our Union.  It is in all of us and I can surely stoke the flames of solidarity and passion that lies in each and every one of us who want change and want it now, not someday.   And, Brothers and Sisters, no matter who is elected, let us unite.   Let us never forget we are A.P.W.U. and, after the dust settles, we must not ever lose sight of that reality.  We are strong, we are smart, we are proud; we are A.P.W.U. and NEVER GONNA QUIT!!!

Yours in UNION Solidarity,

Moe Lepore,                                                                                                                                

Candidate for “Director of Organization”, American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO


July 30 

The Workroom Floor

    Having and being a strong voice on the workroom floor is what it’s all about—the source of all union strength.  When union representatives and union members stand as one on the workroom floor, that is when the union is at it’s strongest.  Of this there can be no doubt.  Standing together, we are in our most powerful negotiating position when battling management for our rights at work.

    But, Brothers and Sisters, there are those among us who undermine our best efforts, receiving the benefits of your strength and your dues without contributing any of their own.  Each and every non-member weakens the strength of the whole union.  And a few individuals who are members, no matter how well-meaning, weaken the union even more by sharing information with the enemy.  I say enemy because non-members are the enemy of every dues paying member of the A.P.W.U.  They are certainly not your friends.  Would a friend steal from you, take money out of your pocket and food out of your mouth?  Of course not!  But this is what non-members do.  And that is only the beginning of the damage they do to our union.

    Your union representatives and officers are obligated by law to provide representation to non-members, but that doesn’t mean that they are entitled to all of the information that you receive from your union.  You pay for that information.  They do not.  A handful of union brothers and sisters continue, while on breaks and lunch, etc., to pass along the information they receive from your union—ideas, tactics, strategies and information on specific workroom floor battles.  Brothers and Sisters, this is dangerous and counterproductive.  You might as well take out your wallet and hand them all of your cash.  These non-members are not concerned with the betterment of the whole, nor are they concerned with your own welfare; they are only looking out for themselves.  Experience teaches us that they will quickly turn and use that information against you, if they see a momentary advantage for themselves in doing so.  These misguided people must be reminded every day that it is you who are paying for their future and for the future of their families through the good job and benefits your dues have paid to win and pay to maintain.  The A.P.W.U. has many fine young stewards and officers with the vision and passion and knowledge to slay the dragon that is management, but they get their true strength from you, the members.  To take back the workroom floor, we need all members standing together.  We cannot continue to allow non-members to steal from their own brothers and sisters, to work against us rather than with us, blind to the fact that they are putting even their own jobs at risk.  We must institute a new culture among the members of this great union--

“Do Not Feed The Scabs!”

    As a former chief steward in the Boston GMF I represented more than 1,000 clerks and 250 maintenance brothers and sisters along with 30 stewards. The LSM area alone has 450 employees and only 4 scabs. Our agenda was to ensure a strong union presence 24/7 at work.  And I’m here to tell you we were successful.  Sadly, the scabs benefitted from our victories and, but for them, those victories might have been even greater.  But management knew, every minute of every day, that we were the A.P.W.U. and we were strong.  We made sure of that.

    Brothers and Sisters, if elected I will travel throughout A.P.W.U. in America to help track and inspire the brother and sister locals who need help.  I have the passion and energy and a plethora of ideas to help get the non-members on board once and for all.   A.P.W.U. has and will continue to offer many incentives to union members to help them entice the non-members to join.  No more listening to scabs cry “poor mouth” as this will not be tolerated.  There are few better returns on investment than the job and benefits A.P.W.U. dues ensure.  Providing people stop giving away for free to non-members that for which the members pay, we can bring everyone in and take back the workroom floor.

    Respect for our contract and the maintaining of our dignity for each and every one of us at the worksite remains the number one issue that will win the day--just ask any brother and sister in Boston Metro--and management must know that A.P.W.U. is united at work in all issues that we face each day.   The workroom floor is ours!  We will never let management divide and conquer the working men and women we so dutifully represent.  Like you, I am tired of paying for scabs while they enjoy the fruits of the union workers' allegiance to A.P.W.U. and the House of Labor.

    There are many locals strong like Boston and my goal is to link us together as a mighty fist to assist locals who need and want our help to organize within A.P.W.U.   Brothers and Sisters, it is our obligation to save A.P.W.U. today and time is a-wasting.   Let’s roll up our sleeves, pull up our boot straps, and kick some ass at the workplace and the non-members will have no choice but to finally join us and, when they do, they will once again feel the pride of being a union member.

    I am asking for your vote because I know I have what it takes to put this into action, to start our union rolling across this country like a mighty wave, a wave irresistible to any non-member in it's path, until at last we break as one unstoppable force upon the shore that is management, scattering them like the tiny grains of sand that they are.  

    We all know most scabs are former members and will soon be unionist again because their families will no doubt depend on it as we battle to obtain more in the great industry that you and those before us built with the sweat and tears of a multitude of hardworking union brothers and sisters.

    There is something in the air.  We can all feel it.  Change is coming and, if we don’t act to unify this great union, we will lose everything we worked so hard to win.  But know this, my brothers and sisters: we will not stand by and let our hard won rights be taken from us, because we are Union and NEVER GONNA QUIT!!!


Yours in UNION Solidarity,

Moe Lepore,                                                                                                                                                                 Candidate for “Director of Organization”, American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO                                                                                                                    


July 14

Brothers and Sisters,

     You have a clear choice electing your next Director of Organization.  This election is no doubt about who can invigorate our union and bolster our ranks like never before, while organizing the private sector American workforce that is doing our work.  Our union needs someone who will energize the American Postal Workers Union and instill pride for the noble work we perform for America every day.  I truly believe I am that person. My record is one of accomplishment and sincere dedication to the Labor Movement.  It is time to have vision in this position by including everyone within A.P.W.U. to help us regain our strength in numbers.

     How will I do this?  Brothers and sisters, this will be our reality with perseverance and energy and knowing that in each and every one of us lies the will to fight for a better future.  As your next Director of Organization, I will not spend your hard earned money buying hot dogs for non-members or throwing parties to entice them to join us.  This approach has been tried and been found wanting.  I will, instead, concentrate on standing shoulder to shoulder with you, the brothers and sisters who pay the bills in this great union, to once and for all show the non-members the error of their ways – that not participating in our fight can only lead to turmoil and less bargaining strength at the table, and that failing to join us in the struggle endangers all of our jobs, theirs included.  

     America has no choice but to wake up and stand by the working men and women in our great country – no more standing by on the sidelines.  We can surely do this by speaking the words of encouragement and solidarity together.  It is not “pie in the sky” in any manner, but rather our reality if we have what it takes to stand together, and you know that we do.
Brothers and sisters, let us rally as one mighty voice in the workplace for our families once and for all.  My candidacy is one of hope and vision of a stronger and more inclusive A.P.W.U.  Why can’t our retirees be part of this wonderful quest?  After all, they built A.P.W.U. before many of us came on board.  Now that they are on fixed incomes, they should be allowed to help us and themselves at a reduced rate.

     I will, if elected, utilize the talents of many brothers and sisters in the field to realize our dream to organize the unorganized in our union and the private sector.  We must have a coordinated effort across America to win the day.  It’s time to build relationships much stronger in the AFL-CIO with our brother and sister unions.  I want to travel throughout America like Johnny Appleseed, spreading the word of the great work unions deliver every waking moment to all citizens.

     Make no mistake about it - we will win the day because it is up to us to save the working men and women from those who will do us and our families harm by denying us our basic rights in the workplace.

     I ask for your vote and – by doing so – you will elect one whose very being is filled with desire and energy unmatched, I believe, in this race.  I believe in union with every fiber of my existence.  I have lived that spirit every minute of every day of my postal career.  I have a track record of inspiring that same belief and spirit in others.  We all love our union.  That is for sure.  It is our way to grow stronger that separates me from my opponents.

In UNION Solidarity,

Moe Lepore,                                                                                                                                                                  Candidate for “Director of Organization”, American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO