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AFL-CIO endorses Staples boycott over USPS privatization

(June 2, 2014) — AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler sent the following memorandum last week to the federation’s affiliated international unions, state federations and central labor councils:

As of May 29, 2014, the AFL-CIO has endorsed the American Postal Workers Union’s (APWU) boycott of Staples, Inc. and UNITE HERE’s boycott of the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel.

stop-staples-frontStaples, Inc. boycott — The APWU is boycotting all Staples, Inc. office supply stores in the U.S., and Staples Advantage. The boycott also covers all Staples branded proprietary products.

In 2013, the United States Post Office entered an agreement with Staples to establish a “pilot program” that placed knock-off “post offices” in 82 Staples stores, utilizing non-union, low-paid Staples employees instead of unionized, well-trained, uniformed Postal Service employees.

The APWU has filed numerous unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB protesting the Postal Service’s refusal to provide information to the APWU about the contract with Staples, as well as numerous instances of illegal actions by postal management against employees protesting the Staples deal.

The “pilot program” between the U.S. Postal Service and Staples jeopardizes mail services provided by U.S. Post Offices and the good jobs that come with them.

Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel boycott — Since March 25, 2013, hotel workers at the non-union Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel have been asking the ownership of their hotel, the Procaccianti Group, to remain neutral as the workers decide whether or not they want a union. Workers announced a boycott of their own hotel on December 4, 2013.

We encourage all unions to support our brothers and sisters of UNITE HERE as they fight for justice at the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel. When contracting with hotels for meetings and conferences, whether the hotel is on the boycott list or not, we encourage our affiliates to include the AFL-CIO’s “Contract Addendum” in your hotel contracts; state federations and central labor councils are expected to use the Addendum. This Addendum will protect your organization from financial loss should you need to move your event as a result of a labor dispute.

And, you can find union hotels at

The latest AFL-CIO boycott information can always be found on the Union Label and Service Trades website,

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