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APWU Web News Articles

AFSCME, UNITE HERE Join ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ Movement ’

Web News Article #: 
130-2014

07/07/2014 - The ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ campaign got another big boost on July 2, when the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) endorsed the boycott.

“We are asking our members, friends, family members and colleagues to take their business elsewhere,” AFSCME President Lee Saunders and Secretary-Treasurer Laura Reyes wrote [PDF] to Staples CEO Ronald L. Sargent. AFSCME represents 1.6 million active and retired public-sector workers.

“We are taking this action because of our concern about Staples’ no-bid deal with the U.S. Postal Service, which established postal counters in more than 80 Staples stores – staffed with Staples employees rather than with employees of the Postal Service.”

The letter pointed out that while AFSCME has, in the past, done a substantial amount of business with Staples, they object, “to short-sighted business arrangements that replace good, living-wage jobs with high-turnover, low-wage jobs, as the USPS – Staples deal does.

“We call on you to either arrange with USPS to have USPS employees staff the postal counters in your stores – or, discontinue the program.”

UNITE HERE

At its national convention on July 3, UNITE HERE passed a resolution endorsing the boycott of Staples and declared its support for postal workers. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 U.S. and Canadian workers in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries.

Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO

On June 11, the Executive Board and Delegates of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO unanimously passed a Resolution of Endorsement of APWU and AFL-CIO National Boycott of Staples. In a letter to Philadelphia labor leaders, council President Patrick Eiding urged affiliates “to take part in this boycott by suspending all business with Staples, and by telling Staples that you are boycotting their business because of their non-union 'postal counters'.”