– By Dennis O’Neil from the Stop Staples NYC crew.
Teachers! We need your help and we need it now! As you may know, the US Postal Service—very like public education itself–is being attacked on many fronts, by privatizers, union-busters, those who would dismantle an essential public service out of greed, ideology and contempt for the everyday people our work serves.
Right now, the biggest assault is the attempted hijacking of the Postal Service by the Staples office supply megachain, with the complicity of top USPS management. Every Staples outlet in the country is opening a little fake post office, staffed not by postal workers but Staples employees: minimum wage, hours held under 25 week to avoid paying benefits, no training and massive turnover, no record check. The result will be shorter hours at real POs, more mishandled mail, fewer postal workers and eventual post office closings.
In response the American Postal Workers Union, strongly backed by the US labor movement, including both the AFT and NEA, has called for a boycott of Staples. Here’s what we are asking you to do:
First and foremost, don’t shop at Staples (or their online subsidiary Quill.com) and tell co-workers, students, parents to boycott them as well. We know this can be an inconvenience; Staples’ ruthless tactics have driven national competitors and local stationary stores alike out of business.
But this month is crucial! What Christmas is for most merchants, August back-to-school business is for Staples. Every sale lost, every blow delivered now stings their management twice as hard, and makes them rethink their role in this program.
Second, let them know about it. Write Staples CEO Ronald L. Sargent at 500 Staples Drive, Framingham, MA 01720 and let him know that you aren’t buying at Staples and won’t until they get their greedy hands off the USPS. You can also send them an email from this url: www.staples.com/sbd/content/help-center/contact-us.html. (And let us know what you did, too. Forward a copy of your note or email to Staples to one of the Facebook Stop Staples groups like STOP STAPLES! Organizers.)