Saturday, July 18, 2009

[olympiaworkers] Fired Olympia APWU President Clint Burelson Makes a Triumphant Return to Post Office

For Immediate Release 7/15/09 Contact Louie Mackey, Organizer (360)

Clint Burelson, the President of the Olympia Local of the American
Postal Workers Union made a triumphant return to his job at the
Olympia Post Office on 7/11/09 shortly after his unjust firing was
rescinded by the Postal Service as part of a grievance settlement
between the union and the Postal Service. A 7 day and 14 day
suspension against Clint for his union activities were also rescinded.

Although in a just world, the union should rightfully have been able
to win all the grievances regarding the unjust discipline against
Clint, the union agreed to compromise some in order to settle the
grievances now rather than wait for arbitration and the inherent risk
associated with that process. Clint and the union accepted a 7 day
and 14 day suspension for alleged AWOL and gave up one month of back
pay as part of the settlement.

The Postal Service improperly fired Clint in November of 2008 for
protected union activities such as arguing with management over labor
management issues. The Postal Service has a long history of
discrimination against active union representatives. Clint was
unjustly fired in 1994 for his union activities and was out for 3
years before winning his job back with full back pay. Despite
numerous local settlements where the Postal Service agreed in writing
to cease and desist from discriminating against Clint specifically,
and other union representatives in general, management continually
discriminates against active union representatives in their effort to
avoid being accountable to the community and their own rules in the

Clint's return to work was a big victory for the union. Workers at
the Post Office shared a cake that said "APWU 2 – 0," for winning
Clint's job back two times. The cake was decorated with miniature
versions of the picket signs held at the successful gatherings in
front of the Post Office calling for Clint's return to work. One of
the tiny signs said, "He fought for us, we fight for him."

The Postal Service's removal of Clint backfired on management as
workers stepped up to get involved with the union. There was also
support from postal workers in other locals, members of other unions
in Olympia, and caring community members that contributed to the
successful return of Clint. After winning his job back, Clint stated,
"I don't like to use the word proud, but I think in this case it is
appropriate. I am very proud of my union and friends in the

For more information contact: Louie Mackey at
(360) 357-6231

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