A Grand Alliance to Save the Postal Service
Clearing the FOG speaks with APWU President Mark Dimondstein about the new alliance of postal unions that are working desperately to stop the dismantling of our public postal service. The postal service has been hit with mandates that are forcing it to reduce hours and staff and to sell off historic post offices that were created with public dollars during the New Deal. We follow that discussion with a second guest, Katherine Isaac from the Campaign for Postal Banking. And we explain why the attack on the US Postal Service is related to racial and economic injustice.
Relevant articles and websites:
US Postal Service Revenue: Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full? by Office of Inspector General USPS
Postal Service Urged to End Deal with Real Estate Broker by Bernie Becker
A Short History of Postal Banking by Mehrsa Baradaran
Mark Dimondstein is president of the American Postal Workers Union. As the APWU’s top officer, he is responsible for all of the operations of the national union, as outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws. He oversees all the activities conducted by the officers and staff of every department, division, and committee defined by the APWU Constitution. The president is the editor of the union’s bimonthly magazine, The American Postal Worker, and is the union’s spokesperson on all contractual and legislative matters of concern to the union.Along with the APWU’s other top officers, the president is elected by mail-ballot referendum of the membership every three years.
Prior taking office in November 2013, Dimondstein held a variety of positions in the APWU. He was elected to six consecutive terms as President of the Greater Greensboro Area Local, serving from 1986 to 1998. He also acted as a local shop steward, labor educator, National Arbitration Advocate, EEOC and OWCP representative, and leader of the Workers for One Postal Union movement. Mark Dimondstein is President of the American Postal Workers Union, which represents 200,000 employees in the clerk, maintenance and motor vehicle crafts.
Beginning in 2000, Dimondstein was appointed by APWU President Moe Biller and later by President William Burrus to serve as National Lead Field Organizer, a position he held for 10 years. As Lead Field Organizer, he engaged in a series of ground-breaking union organizing campaigns and contract negotiations for private-sector workers in the mailing industry. In tribute to his efforts, he received the AFL-CIO Southern Organizer of the Year Award in 2001, presented by then-president of the AFL-CIO, John Sweeney.
Dimondstein was appointed by the Greensboro City Council to serve on the Greensboro Human Relations Commission, a position he held for six years. In addition, he served as the coordinator of North Carolina Labor Against the War, co-founded the Greensboro Chapter of Jobs with Justice, and helped initiate a local coalition, Postal Customers and Workers United to Save the Public Postal Service.
Dimondstein began his postal career in 1983, and held bid positions of LSM operator and manual, automation and retail clerk. Prior to entering the Postal Service he worked as a printer.
Throughout his many years of activism, Dimondstein has held a fervent belief that the union belongs to the members, the American people deserve a vibrant public Postal Service, and workers everywhere deserve dignity and respect.
He has been married to his union-activist wife, Melissa, for 40 years. They have three adult daughters and one grandchild.
Katherine Isaac is a consultant for the American Postal Workers Union, working to organize A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service and the Campaign for Postal Banking. Isaac’s prior work in the labor movement includes the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union and the Labor Party where she served as secretary-treasurer. Isaac is also the author of Civics for Democracy: A Journey for Teachers and Students with Ralph Nader.