More than 200 Postal Workers (APWU) members and supporters demonstrated outside Staples stores in San Francisco and San Jose on Tuesday, challenging an arrangement between the company and the U.S. Postal Service that staffs “postal” counters in Staples stores with non-postal employees. The deal threatens good-paying union jobs and jeopardizes public post offices.
The union is demanding that postal employees be assigned to perform the postal work at Staples stores. If Staples and the USPS refuse, the APWU will ask customers to take their business elsewhere.
The so-called “Retail Partner Expansion” program began in November in 80 Staples stores across the nation in a trial, but Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says he wants to expand the program “as soon as possible.”
APWU President Mark Dimondstein says, “The APWU supports the expansion of postal services and retail hours.” But adds:
We cannot accept USPS plans to replace good-paying union jobs with nonunion low-wage jobs held by workers who have no accountability for the safety and security of the mail.
In earlier actions, groups of APWU members and retirees met with managers of Staples stores at locations around the country and delivered a letter protesting the Staples/USPS privatization of postal services.