Message to Staples: Staff Postal Counters with Postal Employees
Postal Workers to Protest Staples Outsourcing of USPS
by Staff Reports
ATLANTA -- Members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and community activists will picket an Atlanta Staples store during the lunch hour on Tuesday, March 4. Atlanta is serving as a test market for a scheme to move postal services into Staples stores – which could lead to the closure of neighborhood post offices. The postal counters are staffed with low-wage Staples employees.
In October, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced a no-bid deal to open postal counters with limited service in 82 Staples stores. In addition to Georgia, Staples-operated and Staples-staffed postal counters are operating in Northern California, Pittsburgh, and Central Massachusetts. After the trial period, the Postmaster General plans to expand the program to Staples’ 1,600 stores nationwide.
“As a nation, we need to decide what kind of Postal Service we want,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “Are we going to have a vibrant, modern, public mail system or are we going to let privatizers kill this great institution?”
“There is potential for a bright future for the Post Office,” Dimondstein said. “Although first-class mail is declining, package delivery is exploding, due to e-commerce. We should be offering longer hours and more services, including public notary and basic banking,” he said.
“If we’re going to have mini-Post Offices in Staples stores they should be operated by uniformed postal employees, who have taken an oath and are accountable to the American people – especially during this time of rampant identity theft and concerns about privacy.”
Staples has been struggling recently and shut 40 stores in the last quarter. The office supply company will likely announce further store closings when it reports quarterly earnings on March 6.
“Our union wants to shed a light on this bad deal,” said Dimondstein. “We’re confident that when the public learns what’s going on they will say, ‘No sale.’”
The American Postal Workers Union represents 200,000 employees of the United States Postal Service. The union is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.