APWU vows fight against Staples deal
APWU Vows to Stop the Great Postal Giveaway to Staples
USPS Sends Jobs, Work to Staples
When Staples agreed to put USPS retail units in its stores, the office-supply chain may have gotten more than it bargained for.
(01/01/14) In a deal that has been in the works at least since March 2012, the USPS announced in November that it was launching a pilot program to place postal retail units in more than 80 Staples stores in four states: California, Georgia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
Some of the sites opened quietly in October and others opened in November, including some where ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held. If postal management and Staples consider the pilot successful, the program may be expanded to the chain’s 1,600 other locations. Agreements between the USPS and other big retailers may follow.
“This is a direct assault on our jobs and on public postal services,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein declared when he heard the news. “The APWU supports the expansion of postal services. But we are adamantly opposed to USPS plans to replace good-paying union jobs with non-union low-wage jobs held by workers who have no accountability for the safety and security of the mail,” he said. “Postal workers deserve better, and our customers deserve better.” [read more]
‘Postal units at Staples must be staffed by career postal employees.’
– President Mark Dimondstein
The APWU also has requested a meeting with Ron Sargent, the Chairman and CEO of Staples, to discuss our concerns, Dimondstein said. He also expects to have additional discussions with postal management.
“While these efforts proceed, we will begin preparations for protests at Staple stores across the country,” he said. The APWU Executive Board discussed the issue via telephone on Nov. 22 and endorsed the plan to fight back.
“Postal management will undoubtedly try to convince our members that this arrangement is beneficial because it creates revenue for the USPS,” Dimondstein said. “But revenue without good union jobs is not in the interest of our members. Postal services that are performed by anyone other than well-trained postal workers will not serve the American people well,” he said.
“This is a huge step toward privatizing retail services,” Dimondstein said. “If we don’t draw a line in the sand, mail processing and other operations will soon follow.”
The Staples units will offer most postal products and services: They will sell stamps; accept first-class letters, Priority, Priority Express, standard mail, and first-class packages, and accept certified mail. The units will be operational during Staples’ business hours — as late as 9 p.m. on weekdays, on Sundays and many holidays. And, in a unique arrangement, the office supply giant will offer 5% Staples Rewards for the postage on packages paid for and shipped at its locations.
“We can only stop these privatization plans if we work and fight together,” Dimondstein said. “We will keep APWU members informed of any progress at the national level. In the meantime, prepare for action!”
President Dimondstein recognized the prompt action by our President, Pete Furgiuele, upon hearing of the Staples agreement. Read the letter President Furgiuele sent here. See President Furgiuele's action request by clicking the link below.