National Day of Action at Staples Stores – Medford Oregon, 4/24/2014
Twenty people rallied at Medford’s Staples store during the noon hour to show broad-based community support for the United States Postal Service. The group first huddled and discussed the attack on our postal service. Several people spoke including Ramon Ramirez who is the President of PCUN, Oregon’s farmworker union headquartered in Woodburn. President Ramirez told us how downsizing USPS services was particularly hard for Oregon’s Hispanic and its poorer communities who rely so much on the U.S. Mail. Rich Rohde offered a quick story about trying to find Staples at a Staples Store and the poor level of service he found when questioning an employee. These are the same employees who would be handling our mail.
Staples and the U.S. Postal service have cut a deal that jeopardizes mail service and local post offices. The Staples deal will replace full-service U.S. Post Offices with knock-off Post Offices. We have a right to post offices staffed by workers who are accountable to the American people. We have a right to postal services provided by highly trained, uniformed Postal Service employees, who are sworn to safeguard our mail — whether its at the Post Office or Staples. The Staples deal is bad for consumers who will pay the same for less service. And if Staples and the USPS move forward with this deal, it could lead to the end of the Postal Service as we know it!
After discussing the issues our group donned blue teeshirts that say in white letters “The U.S. Mail is Not for Sale” and then moved into the shopping center headed for the front of the Staples store. Each of us was armed with informational flyers which were handed to Staples customers. An employee came out from the store and let it be known it was OK to be there in front of the store and the outreach was successful. People had concerns and questions when hearing about the Staples — USPS sweetheart deal. Activists dispersed around 1pm with several saying they would be taking the educational flyers to meetings and would be putting them on public bulletin boards.
Wes Brain, Community Organizer
Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice