I received a text from my New York friend Dennis, an activist with the postal workers union and the New York Stop Staples campaign.
“I have a proposition for you. An art commission. And by commission,” says Dennis, “I mean we can’t pay you anything.”
“Perfect,” I say. “I’m retired. I don’t work for money.”
“Can you give us a drawing for our Facebook page showing the unity of teachers and postal workers? Oh, and the postal worker shouldn’t look like one of those guys in a children’s book. Y’know. ‘Mailman Bob Delivers Your Mail.'”
Damn. That was just what I had in mind.
In the fall of 2013, the Postal Service and Staples implemented a pilot program that established knock-off post offices in 82 Staples stores. The postal counters are staffed with low-wage Staples employees rather than highly-trained USPS employees.
In July, after the union launched a ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ campaign, the USPS and Staples discontinued the trial, but replaced it with a modified version of the program, which it plans to expand to all 1,500 U.S. Staples stores.
The APWU objects to the deal because it privatizes the retail operations of the public Postal Service; transfers living-wage, union jobs to low-wage jobs, and compromises the safety and security of the mail.
The ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ campaign has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, AFSCME, SEIU, the International Association of Firefighters, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, our sister postal unions and many other labor organizations.
This graphic was commissioned by the Stop Staples NYC crew to represent the solidarity of postal workers and teachers! It was done by retired Chicago teacher and education activist Fred Klonsky who has been an evangelist for the Stop Staples campaign among his fellow teachers.In truth, the joyous determination Fred captures here makes it an illustration of the kind of solidarity we will all need in the difficult times ahead of us.