(This article written by Douglas Cowan Holbrook, National APWU Retirees Department Director first appeared in the November/December 2006 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)
100 Years and Still Counting!

As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of our union it is important to remember the men and women who established the union a century ago and the struggles they encountered. The struggle, of course, continued for their successors, and continues today.

When I reflect on our history, I am very proud of the APWU’s accomplishments. We must remember that it took great determination; the gains were never given to us; we had to fight for everything we have today. The union’s institutional memory must pay tribute to all our members and, as they retire, they must not be forgotten. Without their efforts, we would not be here today.

The current and future retirees have paved the road to tomorrow, and as they retire most of these members show that they would like to play a vital role in our future. I hope that our locals will invite retirees to meetings and ask them to share some of their history. We have a wonderful history, and active members would be well served to hear the personal experiences of retirees.

Encourage your retirees to join the Retirees Department of APWU and to work toward establishing a chapter in your local. If you need information regarding the establishment of a APWU Retirees chapter, please call the national department at 202-842-8585 or 877-279-8669 (877-APWU NOW).

National Convention:
The delegates attending the conference in Philadelphia prioritized the legislative issues that they consider to be of great importance to current and future retirees:

Protection of federal Civil Service annuities.
Opposition to privatization that would adversely affect job security for postal workers.
Guaranteeing Social Security for current and future retirees.
Protection of health benefits.
Making healthcare more affordable.
Amending Section 125 of the federal tax code to allow pre-tax dollars to be put toward health care.
Repealing the Social Security Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provisions.
Legal permission for drugs made in the USA to be reimported.
Improving Medicare coverage.
Guaranteeing Medicare for current and future Retirees.
Supporting legislation that would provide for longterm care.

Retired National Officers:

The following former national officers were in attendance at the Retirees Conference held just before the national convention:

Sam Anderson (Special Delivery Messengers director);
Wallace Baldwin (Clerk Division assistant director);
Willie Bryant (Maintenance Division regional representative);
Alton Fouche (Maintenance Craft vice president); David Johnson Sr. (executive vice president);
Jim Lingberg (Maintenance Division director);
John P. Richards (Industrial Relations director); and
John R. Smith (Mailhandlers director and Retirees Department director).

Retiree(s) of the Year:
The Retirees Department asked each chapter to submit the names of members they would nominate as Retirees of the Year and we received 11 nominations.

Each of these members has made outstanding contributions to the union, the department, and their community. The following received Outstanding Retiree of the Year awards:

Samuel Anderson, Chicago Local (president)
John Donovan, San Diego Area Local
George Hendricks, Western Michigan Area Local
David Johnson Sr., Omaha Area Local
Donald Ross, Chicago Local (president, Retirees chapter)
William Scott, Chicago Local
Valentine Serpico, Broward County (FL) Area Local
Beverly Shealy, Cleveland Area Local (president, Retirees)
Paul Snider, Toledo Area Local.

The following pair received Retiree of the Year awards:

Wallace Baldwin Jr., Atlanta Metro Area Local (president, Retirees chapter), and active member of the Fulton County Office of Aging, the Community Affordable Housing group, and the Georgia Military and Federal Employees Coalition;

and Jack Gose, Suncoast Area Local (president, Retirees chapter) and vice president, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans.

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