ALBANY, N.Y. July 14, 2014 — New York State United Teachers today called on its more than 600,000 members and their families to support the American Postal Workers Union and join a nationwide boycott of office supply giant Staples.
NYSUT said the U.S. Postal Service’s decision to contract mail service to Staples — with “postal counters” staffed with low-wage, high-turnover Staples employees rather than unionized postal employees — “wrongly puts profits ahead of people and will further erode the middle class by lowering the standard of living for all.” NYSUT leaders endorsed the Postal Workers Union’s boycott of Staples over the weekend at the American Federation of Teachers’ Representative Assembly in Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, NYSUT President Karen E. Magee used scissors to immediately cut up her Staples card, declaring, “That was easy,” in a riff on the office supply company’s slogan.
“Teachers and others who work in public schools and colleges have, in the past, been among Staples’ best and most reliable customers. But teachers can and will hit Staples where it hurts — the bottom line — by taking their business elsewhere if Staples does not reverse its decision to help privatize an essential public service,” Magee said. “Refusing to shop at Staples is the best way to send a message that contracting out good, middle-class union jobs is absolutely unacceptable.”
The U.S. Postal Service began contracting out mail services in October, beginning a pilot program at 80 Staples stores, the national AFL-CIO reported. The Postal Service plans to expand the program to 1,500 Staples locations at the same time it is closing public post offices.
The NYSUT boycott covers all Staples Inc. office supply stores in the United States, purchases at Staples.com and Staples Advantage, as well as all Staples-brand products. More information about the StopStaples campaign is available at www.StopStaples.com
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.