By Peter Rachleff and The Work Environm
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Graphic Artists Guild
Australian Services Union
|The Labor Heritage Foundation|
works to strengthen the labor movement through the use of music and the arts.
Work Right Press
Beyond Going Postal
Going Postal (the book)
My name is Steve Musacco and I have written a book about postal violence, its prevention, and the postal culture. The title of my book is “Beyond Going Postal: Shifting from Workplace Tragedies and Toxic Workplace Environments to a Healthy and Safe Organization. Prior to my retirement with the Postal Service, I was employed as a Workplace Improvement Analyst at a postal district. Prior to this position, I held positions as Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Supervisor, postal clerk, and letter carrier with the USPS. I served as a Vice-President and President of a small local in Southern California in the 1980s.
This book provides an answer to the question: Why has there been so much violence in the U.S. Postal Service and what can be done to prevent it? It examines the history of violence and toxic work environments within the U.S. Postal Service organization and its negative impacts on the health and psychological well-being of its employees. It also provides comprehensive evidence of the decline of the work culture within the Postal Service and the internal neglect, denial, and lack of accountability by postal management that has encouraged a detrimental labor environment. This book is, to date, the most comprehensive analysis available on postal workplace violence and postal culture in general, and it includes a blueprint for postal management and government leaders to make the U.S. Postal Service a healthier organization for its employees. Written with postal rank and file, union, management, postal families, and government leaders in mind, this book sounds a clarion call to action that cannot be ignored.
Book Cover - click here
My book is now available at http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Going-Postal-Environments-Organization/dp/1439220751/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233507797&sr=8-. More information can also be found at my personal website at goingpostal-beyond com. Please share this message with others concerned about the postal culture and its effects.
Steve Musacco, Ph.D.
People's History of
by Al Hart and Gary Huck
Labor and political cartoonist Mike Konopacki -- close friend and collaborator of UE's cartoonist Gary Huck -- has produced a brilliant book-length graphic adaptation of a major portion of Howard Zinn's classic A People's History of the United States. Created in collaboration with Zinn and historian Paul Buhle, Konopacki's A People's History of American Empire tells, in pictures and text, the story of U.S. government and corporate policies of controlling other people's countries -- from the seizure of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Cuba in the Spanish-American War, to George Bush's invasion of Iraq. It also shows that U.S. foreign policy is and always has been inseparable from domestic policies that have stolen land from and massacred Native Americans, crushed workers' movements, and employed racism and immigrant bashing to divide and conquer working people.
In 1980 Howard Zinn published A People's History of the United States, a big but highly readable and engaging retelling of American history "from the bottom up." In the standard textbooks most of us endured in school, "history" was something that was done by "great men," and people like us were largely invisible. But in Zinn's history, starting in 1492, Native Americans, sailors, slaves, immigrants, women, and other workers are at the center of things. Zinn's book tells the truth about the misdeeds of the rulers -- the ways they have attempted throughout our history to suppress democracy at home and to dominate other countries, all for the sake of greater corporate profit. He rebuts the official story line that U.S. government policy always advances "our national interest" and that its generous goals have been to "spread freedom and democracy."
Zinn's People's History is now in its sixth edition, the latest version published in 2005. Each new edition updates the book with recent developments. It has sold 1.7 million copies and is now used as a textbook in many classrooms. By creating a comic book version that is very attractive and great fun to read, Konopacki will enable Howard Zinn's important ideas about American history to reach an even larger audience.
Konopacki's book is more personal than Zinn's original. It makes Zinn the narrator, and Zinn tells us stories from his own life that help us better understand his view of history. In a chapter titled "Growing Up Class Conscious," we see how Zinn's thinking was shaped by his childhood in the slums of Brooklyn. He says of his father, "All his life he worked hard for very little. I've always resented statements of politicians, media commentators, corporate executives who talked of how in America, if you worked hard you would become rich. The meaning of that was, if you were poor, it was because you hadn't worked hard enough."
Later Zinn served in World War II as a bombardier in a B-17 Flying Fortress. Three weeks before the war in Europe ended, his plane and 1,200 other Flying Fortresses were sent on a strange mission, bombing an isolated German unit, no longer any military threat, holed up in the small western French village of Royan. It turns out that they were testing a new weapon -- something then called "sticky fire," later known in the Vietnam War as napalm. German soldiers and French civilians died horrible deaths from this bombing, and Zinn realized that he'd followed orders to commit an atrocity. He tells us how this event helped him discover that "the good war" to defeat fascism and save democracy was also, from the standpoint of the rulers of the United States, a war for profits and for empire.
Mike Konopacki's wonderful art makes this book an irresistible read, and the stories and lessons it conveys make it unforgettable, and indispensable. Five years into Bush's Iraq war -- one of the most disastrous misadventures on the American Empire -- America needs this book. -- Al Hart
Mike Konopacki was exactly the right cartoonist to visually interpret Howard Zinn's voice. Mike incorporates everything he's learned in four decades of cartooning into each frame. As adept on the computer as he is with a brush and ink, the drawings in this book are masterful in their execution. Mike incorporates actual photos at key moments in the book to remind the readers that this is, after all, history. He also slyly incorporates photos and drawings together, giving the impression that history is emerging from behind the drawings, which of course it is. But outside of his profound skills as an artist, Mike has lived his professional life documenting people's history as a labor cartoonist. He has been preparing for this moment since I first met him. I think you'll agree -- he was ready! -- Gary Huck
There's Always Work at the Post Office
African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice, and Equality
By Philip F. Rubio
This book brings to life the important but neglected story of African American postal workers and the critical role they played in the U.S. labor and black freedom movements. Historian Philip Rubio, a former postal worker, integrates civil rights, labor, and left movement histories that too often are written as if they happened separately. Centered on New York City and Washington, D.C., the book chronicles a struggle of national significance through its examination of the post office, a workplace with facilities and unions serving every city and town in the United States.
Black postal workers--often college-educated military veterans--fought their way into postal positions and unions and became a critical force for social change. They combined black labor protest and civic traditions to construct a civil rights unionism at the post office. They were a major factor in the 1970 nationwide postal wildcat strike, which resulted in full collective bargaining rights for the major postal unions under the newly established U.S. Postal Service in 1971. In making the fight for equality primary, African American postal workers were influential in shaping today's post office and postal unions.
Philip F. Rubio is assistant professor of university studies at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro and author of the award-winning A History of Affirmative Action, 1619-2000.