Richard A. Fowler
LOS ANGELES—Today, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and thousands of AFT convention delegates joined members of the American Postal Workers Union and other community members in a rally telling the United States Postal Service and the Staples corporation that the “U.S. Mail Is Not for Sale.” They demanded an end to the United States Postal Service’s plan to let Staples employees operate postal counters inside 1,500 stores, ultimately putting 80,000 postal service jobs in jeopardy.
This action is a continuation of the AFT’s effort to reclaim the promise of an America where consumers are safe, workers are valued and well-trained, and middle-class jobs are protected.
“Postal workers are the most amazing public servants,” said Weingarten. “Who does Staples really want and need to come into its stores every single day? Teachers. The best way we can help is if we say to Staples: ‘You do this to the postal workers, and we aren’t buying supplies in your stores.’”
APWU President Mark Dimondstein addressed the importance of America’s middle class standing together against the effort to privatize and demonize U.S. postal workers. He said, “We too are in the public sector, we too are meeting the needs of people. We’re facing some of the same problems you are—I call it divert, defund, demoralize, demonize and dismantle.”
The AFT has also passed a resolution in support of APWU’s boycott against Staples Inc. It resolves “that members of the AFT, along with friends, colleagues and family members, are urged to no longer shop at Staples stores until further notice.” Read the resolution here.
The convention continues through Monday. Press can watch live at http://www.aft.org/convention/live.cfm.