The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Union enters postal talks using Danny Glover star power to expand, not cut services

Contract talks began Thursday between the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and a reenergized union that seeks to broaden the field of play well beyond the negotiating room.

Leaders from the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) met their USPS counterparts at the Hyatt Regency after a rousing pep rally the night before at the AFL-CIO headquarters. It featured an array of pumped-up speakers, a Danny Glover video and the star himself.

Glover’s appearance wasn’t just a cameo for the movie star. He was at the leaders’ breakfast and the APWU’s news conference shortly before the negotiating session began, then was with the union’s delegation as the talks opened.

While Glover’s star power was a big draw, so is his postal legacy. The video told the story of his postal family. His mother and father, sister and brother were postal workers, as was he during Christmas breaks from school.

“Working for the Postal Service enabled my parents to buy their first home,” Glover says in the film over family photos. “They took great pride in their work.”

But his real message was “the Postal Service belongs to all of us” and needs to be protected because “some people want to bury the Postal Service, shut offices, reduce hours, limit delivery, outsource it, divide it and privatize it.”

This gets to the nitty-gritty of postal negotiations.

Read more in the Federal Diary.