Your Intrepid Reporter attended the meeting, Tuesday at 7 pm, at the 18th Street Peace House, of Community and Postal Workers United. The group, which I’ve worked with for about a year, is organizing resistance, both locally and nationally, to the dismantling and privatization of the U.S. Post Office.
I was arrested, with six others, at the main Post Office at the foot of the Broadway Bridge, attempting, on 30 October 2013, to meet with the director of the Oregon division of the USPS [United States Postal Service], partly to present her with a petition with more than 1000 signatures and partly to ask about the no-bid contract recently awarded, under her supervision, to a bankrupt trucking outfit whose CEO goes to her church.
The group has had other arrests, on other occasions, and may have more in the future.
The discussion Tuesday night concerned a quite legal demonstration, scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, at the 122nd Street Staples store, between 5 and 6 pm. The management of USPS is arranging to outsource postal services, at coolie wages and with much less job protection, to the Staples outlets around the country. Customers will have a lower level of services and the profit from the transaction will go to a private corporation.
The campaign against the Staple Store Giveaway has support, both locally and nationally. The Portland Association of Teachers, as well as the national AFL-CIO, has voted to support the boycott of Staples office supply stores; during the day Tuesday Ben Poe made a presentation before a receptive audience of the Portland State University chapter of the Service Employees International Union.
The demonstration at the 122nd Street Staples will be in four parts. There will be a greeting and a skit by CPWU members, illustrating the reasons Staples ought not to approve this deal; speakers from three unions will address the demonstrators; there will be a march, and we will all leave by the end of the hour.