Berkeley, Calif., gears up to save post office

By on February 19, 2013
‘No’ to Berkeley post office closing, Feb. 13.WW photo: Judy Greenspan

‘No’ to Berkeley post office closing, Feb. 13.
WW photo: Judy Greenspan

Berkeley, Calif. — A special meeting of the Berkeley City Council’s Post Office Committee drew more than 100 people on Feb. 13 to speak out against U.S. Postal Service plans to close and sell the historic downtown Berkeley Post Office. Mayor Tom Bates made the unanimous position of city officials clear when he said, “The entire council does not support the closing of the post office.”

Berkeley City Councilmember Jesse Arreguin urged people to attend the  Feb. 26 public hearing called by the USPS to unveil its plans for the closure and sale of the main Berkeley Post Office. Arreguin stated, “This is our building! We paid for it!”

The speakers that followed documented similar struggles around the country to stop the closure of post offices and save union jobs. Dave Welsh, a retired letter carrier and San Francisco Labor Council delegate, said the post office closures nationally, along with the August elimination of six-day mail delivery, will mean the loss of tens of thousands of union jobs. Welsh and other speakers noted that the USPS is the largest employer of African-American workers and the job loss will critically affect the African-American community.

According to Ying Lee, another organizer, the post office is also a major employer of women workers.

For more information about the Feb. 26 hearing and the fight to save the people’s post office, check out savethebpo.com or email savetheberkeleypostoffice@gmail.com.

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