Postal Workers Turn up the Heat on Staples
Thousands to Protest in Chicago Loop Against Shift by USPS of Postal Services to Retailer
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Chicago Teachers Union Leaders and Other Supporters Will Join Postal Workers to Send Message: The U.S Mail is Not for Sale
07/21/2014 - Thousands of members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), joined by supporters, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union, will protest the privatization of the U.S. Postal Service at a Staples store in the Chicago loop on Tuesday, July 22, beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Who: Thousands of delegates to APWU national convention and supporters;
APWU President Mark Dimondstein, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka,
Leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union
What: Protest at Staples store in the Chicago Loop against outsourcing and privatization of the U.S. Postal Service
When: Tuesday, July 22nd at 3:30 pm
Where: 111 N. Wabash at Washington, Chicago
“Staples and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) are feeling the heat of our ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ campaign and we’re going to turn up the heat on Tuesday,” said Dimondstein.
Thousands of APWU members will travel by bus to join the July 22nd protest from their national convention, being held at Chicago’s McCormick Center.
APWU members have protested at Staples stores and U.S. postal facilities at dozens of locations across the country since January. Last fall, the USPS announced a no-bid sweetheart deal for a “pilot project” to open postal counters in more than 80 Staples stores.
“About a week ago, the USPS and Staples attempted to derail the boycott,” Dimondstein said. “They announced the pilot was over, but admitted that Staples clerks would continue to do the work of uniformed postal workers under a program with a different name.
“We’ve got news for them: Our campaign to stand up for living-wage jobs and quality service for our customers isn’t over until we say it’s over.”
Staples’ announcement followed a July 12 vote by delegates to the American Federation of Teachers national convention to join the ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ campaign, which has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO, the SEIU, AFSCME, the International Association of Firefighters and many other labor and community organizations.
“We’re not falling for that ruse, and neither are the labor and community allies who have joined with us in this fight,” said Dimondstein. “This campaign will continue so long as the USPS tries to replace experienced, uniformed U.S. postal workers who are accountable to the American people with low-wage, high-turnover employees who have little training and who are not qualified to handle the U.S. Mail.”
Thousands of members of the National Association of Letter Carriers also will protest the Staples deal on Tuesday in conjunction with their national convention in Philadelphia.