Save the Post Office Buildings from Privatization.
Watch this video of my performance poem at the rally to stop the sale of the main Berkeley post office building and the public art work within. Hope you like it. Scroll down to learn more.
Protesters denounce the Postmaster General’s decision to sell historic post offices in Berkeley, the Bronx (NY) and La Jolla (CA), close thousands of post offices and mail processing plants, and lay off 100,000-plus unionized postal workers making a living wage, in what they say is a “systematic plan to dismantle and privatize the postal service.”
“Young people today are being robbed of future employment,” said one passerby, “What jobs will be left for my young son and my daughter?” The Postal Service is one of a rapidly diminishing number of employers offering a living wage job, and is the largest unionized workplace in the nation with 550,000 workers. That makes it a prize target for the privateers who hope to bust up the Post Office and transfer the work to private companies paying Walmart wages.
Destruction of the public Post Office would have “a disproportionate effect on workers and communities of color,” according to Tent City occupant Dave Welsh, a retired postal worker. “Today people of color make up 40% of the postal workforce (20% for African Americans). For many workers of all nationalities, it is one of the few places where living-wage jobs are still available in our low-pay, ‘post-industrial’ economy. The campaign to privatize and de-unionize the USPS is a threat to the livelihood of every affected worker and neighborhood. But it stands to hit hardest in those communities of color that are already suffering unemployment at Great Depression levels.
“We need a movement that puts in the forefront those most impacted by the postal crisis – Black, brown and rural communities; elderly, disabled and low-income people,” Welsh added.