California teachers’ union votes to boycott Staples

The following announcement was posted on on April 29.

Sacramento, Calif. – The Executive Council of the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), representing 120,000 educational employees from Head Start through university, voted unanimously last evening to boycott office supply and bulk goods retailer Staples.  The CFT took this action at the request of the American Postal Workers Union, which has been opposing a no-bid sweetheart deal between the United States Postal Service and the giant office supply chain to operate postal counters in Staples stores. Staples workers, earning minimum wages and meager benefits, staff the Staples postal counters, rather than uniformed postal employees paid a living wage. Staples sales clerks have a high turnover rate, receive little training and are not required to have a background check or take an oath before handling U.S. mail. The APWU sees this Staples “pilot” as the first step in privatizing the USPS’ retail operations and eliminating local public post offices.

Last fall, USPS announced that postal counters would open in 82 Staples stores in four states; 29 are located in California. The Postmaster General has announced his intention of expanding the Staples partnership to 1,500 Staples locations nationwide following the trial period.