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Community support grows for Boston post office rally

Published Jan 8, 2012 10:56 AM

>Community and labor support is growing for the Jan. 14 Rally to Save Community Jobs and Services at the Grove Hall Post Office in the heart of Boston’s African- American community. The location is one of the thousands of post offices, many of them in poor and oppressed communities, that have been targeted to be closed by the United States Postal Service.

The post office closings are the keystone of a plan by Congressional right-wingers to lay off up to 200,000 postal workers, destroy union jobs in the communities, and hand these vital and profitable services over to private profiteers.

The rally is being organized in response to a call issued by the newly formed Occupy 4 Jobs Network. Invoking the proposal by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for a mass occupation of Washington, D.C. for jobs, the network has called for national actions on the weekend of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Postal workers from numerous cities participated in the network’s inaugural meeting, which took place at a People’s Assembly in the South Bronx, N.Y, in November.

A Boston planning meeting was hosted by the Boston School Bus Drivers, Steelworkers Local 8751 on Dec. 19 and attended by Paul Killduff, president of American Postal Workers Union, Boston Metro Area Local 100; Ed Childs, chief shop steward, UNITE-HERE Local 26; and community and labor activists from the Bail Out the People Movement, Women’s Fightback Network, Fanmi Lavalas Boston, Occupy 4 Jobs and others. Community planning meetings have been held with Minister Don Muhammad, of Temple 11 of the Nation of Islam, and with Boston City Councilors Charles Yancey and Tito Jackson.

The rally is being called under the general slogan: “Make MLK Day ‘Occupy 4 Jobs Day.’ ” Demands include:

• No reduction in postal service — keep 6-day delivery;

• No post office closings — expand the postal service; don’t destroy it;

• Stop privatization — the postal services belong to the people;

• A Works Progress Administration-style jobs program for 30 million people at union wages for all, regardless of immigration status;

• Jobs for youth — not jails; and

• Support for all four postal worker unions, including APWU, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association.

The flyer for the event, to be translated into Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole and Spanish, explains how the poorest and most vulnerable will be impacted and suffer the most.

To endorse or volunteer to help mobilize, contact Boston Metro Local 100 APWU, 137 South St. 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02111, 617-423-2798; or the Occupy 4 Jobs Network, c/o USW 8751, 25 Colgate Rd., Roslindale, MA 02131, [email protected]