North Texas continues to feel the lash of America's austerity program. Layoffs and cutbacks in government services are hitting our postal worker friends especially hard. The U.S. Postal Service expects to close the main post office on Highway 30 outside downtown Dallas and several other facilities. They also want to do away with Saturday delivery. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, who attended one of the planning meetings sponsored by the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) says that the people in the southern sector of Dallas need postal service a lot more than the affluent northerners. Congresswoman Johnson and State Senator Royce West were given credit for stopping the last effort to close the post office.
From 7 AM to 9 AM on November 7th. The American Postal Workers Union, led by President Yared Wonde, brought about 17 activists to picket along the Highway 30 service road. Sid Simmons of the National Association of Letter Carriers union brought his Vice President, and Jobs with Justice had one person there. We looked pretty good arrayed along the service road with our neatly printed signs, and passersby appreciated us with waving and honking.
Jennifer Fulbright (left), a central leader of the postal workers' fightback, and Angie Ellington had a good time fighting for their jobs on November 7.
The two pickets scheduled for November 7th represent only a link in a chain of public activities initiated by the APWU. President Wonde and his staff of officers have worked hard to build unity among the four main post office unions and the community at large. The Dallas AFL-CIO is encouraging everybody to participate in this critical fight. Occupy Dallas has joined in on previous activities and will probably join in future ones.
The national AFL-CIO is backing a national petition drive to save our postal service from shutdowns and other plans to curtail service.
Jobs with Justice expects to continue participating in as many of the public activities as possible during this ongoing workers' upsurge. The MoveOn.org rally at Doctor's Hospital, Buckner at Garland Rd in Dallas, scheduled for 4-6 PM on November 17; the March in Solidarity with the INternational Working Class scheduled to begin at 1 PM at Pioneer Park in Dallas, corner Griffin & Young; and the General Strike called by Occupy Dallas for November 30 are events with potential to draw thousands of North Texans.
Anybody can join the monthly 2nd Wednesday Jobs with Justice meeting to discuss these things and plan our participation. It's 7 PM November 9 at UAW 848 hall, 2218 E Main in Grand Prairie.
Those of us who are inclined to say that a general strike could not possibly succeed here in North Texas are cautioned to note that Occupy Oakland just carried out a relatively successful day of actions in California last week! They actually succeeded in shutting down the nation's fifth largest port. Youtube has some good accounts of the November 2 events.
The general strike in Seattle was one of the high points of successful American labor activity. It is not widely known, but Houston had a general strike in 1946 that began when a handful of unaffiliated city workers walked off the job. The dock workers joined in and the city was largely shut down! For an account, find a copy of the book, Rainbow at Midnight.