The Postal Service has put the Berkeley Post Office up for sale!!
The Postal Service outsourced Post Office services to Staples, replacing union jobs with low-paying, low benefit work.
And we’re fighting against both!
Come help us plan our next steps.
On July 29th, at our invite, Ralph Nader spoke on the steps of the Berkeley Post Office against privatization and corporatism. Watch and listen to his talk here.
We’ve began the “Don’t Shop at Staples” campaign with some awesome… what else? … postcards to send to Staples management! Here’s the front of the postcard. The campaign has been adopted by Postal Unions, the San Francisco Labor Council and has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO, and has gone national!
All four Postal Unions have joined together to support maintaining full service, public Post Offices in every community, with expansion to include postal banking, and to oppose subcontracting and privatization of services. The California Federation of Teachers passed a resolution in support of opposition to Staples. Just recently the American Federation of Teachers, AFCSME and UNITE HERE did too.
Check out our correspondence with the President of the American Postal Workers Union, Mark Dimondstein. The APWU has been leading the charge against Staples.
For most of July the sidewalk in front of Staples was ‘occupied’ 24/7 by an intrepid band of San Francisco occupiers with solidarity and support from BPOD members distributing literature and convincing people not to shop at Staples. They’re back! Come hang out with them outside Staples at Durant & Shattuck.
And we need to be prepared if the Post Office announces a sale! The Advisory Commission on Historical Preservation came out with its report, recommending that sales of Historic Post offices be halted until the USPS conforms with historical preservation law. Here is our response. Also the Office of Inspector General’s report on the sale of Historic Post Offices came out recently – anything could happen now since Congress’ “request” that no historic Post Offices be sold until it had come out has been honored and no further Congressional request or mandate has come down. Come help us plan our response.
We have joined with other activists in Berkeley to put a ballot initiative on the ballot to rezone the Berkeley Post Office and other areas in the Historic District to prevent privatization, and also to insure a better Downtown Berkeley. We succeeded in getting the necessary signatures; it will be voted on in November, but Tom Bates and the City Council have nefarious plans to undermine our coalition.
Encouraging articles are still coming out about using Post Offices as banking facilities for the unbanked. The National Conference of Mayors recently endorsed Postal Banking. Pew Research held a day-long seminar on Postal Banking. The Postal unions and other groups have announced plans for a conference on postal banking in November.
We are planning our next event, ‘Jam the Sale.’ Spread the work and come help us out!