The story behind the Staples boycott, teachers, postal workers and my drawing for a Facebook page.


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.
 For more information, visit

8 thoughts on “The story behind the Staples boycott, teachers, postal workers and my drawing for a Facebook page.

  1. Speaking of our union brothers and sisters at APWU, and not just them but all federal employees, look at what Trump wants to do to them. Similar to Rauner in Illinois, except the Illinois constitution gave some protection to our state and local public pensions in Illinois. I don’t think there is anything that specifically protects federal employee pensions from being cut if congress votes to do so.

  2. Trump is still at it trying to get rid of the postal workers, this time by selling the post office. The money will pay for his tax cuts for the 1%ers, for a month or so. Then what? Mail prices will be unregulated, and all of us will pay a lot more for postage. The union postal workers, their pensions and benefits will be gone. They will be replaced by minimum wage workers with no benefits, and the new billionaire owners will make billions more.

    1. There doesn’t seem to be any end to the damage that Trump will do. This is sickening. He is a failed businessman who lies. We are putting our United States Postal Service in the hands of a lunatic who cares nothing about average people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s