Assistant Clerk Director Krueth Retires

APWU Assistant Clerk Craft Director Lyle Krueth retired on Jan. 3, ending  a career that spanned more than three decades.

APWU Assistant Clerk Craft Director Lyle Kruet
Assistant Clerk Craft Director Lyle Krueth

Before becoming assistant director in 2010, he served as a Central Region  National Business Agent (beginning in 1995), Minnesota state president (1994),  Minneapolis Area Local president (1989) and a variety of other local positions.

“Lyle is a living APWU encyclopedia,” said Clerk Craft Director  Clint Burelson. “He imparted information in a calm, rational, clear and  concise manner.  Lyle enjoyed discussing the different angles of a situation.”

Krueth began his career in 1980 in Minneapolis, where he worked as a Postage  Due Clerk. Six months later, when he called in sick for the first time, his  supervisor told him that all part-time flexibles had to provide medical documentation.  Krueth brought in a doctor’s note, but co-workers urged him to file a  grievance. He did.

Nine months later, when he inquired about the status of his grievance, he  couldn’t get a straight answer. One person said it was denied and closed  at Step 2; another said it was still pending at Step 2.  He went to the  union office, where he learned no grievance had been filed. He complained to  Local President Frosty Newman, who asked him to become a steward.

“I didn’t plan to become a union steward when I went to office  that day,” Krueth recalled, “but I figured I couldn’t do  any worse.”

Newman also gave him a job organizing and filing the local’s arbitration  awards. “To file them, I had to read them,” Krueth recalls. He  credits that experience with giving him an initial understanding of the contract.

Prior to his postal career, in 1970, Krueth was drafted into the army and  served two years, including 14 months in Vietnam. He attended the University  of Minnesota Law School on the G.I. bill and passed the bar, but never practiced  law. He applied the lessons he learned in law school to benefit the members  of the APWU.

In parting, Krueth said, “I’d encourage anyone who’s ever  thought about getting involved to do so, because ultimately it is rewarding,” he  said. “It’s been a learning experience since the very beginning.  I don’t regret it one bit.”

President Mark Dimondstein praised Krueth’s contribution to the union  and said, “Thanks, Brother Lyle, for your years of service to the APWU.  We wish you a long, healthy and productive retirement.”

Assistant Director Lamont Brooks said, “I would like to thank my friend  and colleague for his many years of service to the APWU membership. While he  may be retired I will from time to time tap into his source of knowledge. He  was truly a hard working and dedicated union officer who refused to celebrate  his retirement with any sort of recognition or fanfare.”

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