Postal Workers’ Union Protest Staples’ Use Of Store Employees, Not Postal Employees

Staples’ pilot program to include dozens of post office in the store has left many California leaders from the national postal workers’ union upset.

The national postal workers’ union sent a letter to the Bay Area store managers protesting their decision to use Staples’ employees and not actual postal workers, claiming it was a disservice to the country’s mail service.  They’re also concerned that with the Staples staff running the stores, there’s a possibility of traditional post offices closing with layoffs occurring; a loss of both benefits and good wages.

Last year, the U.S. Postal Service and Staples, Inc.  agreed to have more than 80 small post offices operating at several stores in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Georgia and California.

The postal service has seen a decline in both its mail volume and revenue. When the program was announced in November, the postal service said if the pilot program was a success, it would possibly expand to other Staples stores across the nation.

APWU leaders delivered the important letters to the 13 Bay Area Staples stores’ managers, which read that only U.S. Postal Service employees can be held liable to the public and have been sworn to uphold the inviolability of the mail.

APWU president Mark Dimondstein said the program will be supported as long as the U.S. Postal Service workers are the ones running it.  The idea behind the Staples’ postal stores is to offer people convenience.

This isn’t the first time the postal service moved to offer smaller post offices into retail stores. During the 1980s, Sears and the postal service came up with a similar deal, only to have the postal unions complain and the program dissolved.

Dimondstein said the only thing the workers want is a guarantee that jobs will be secure and not outsourced to Staples employees.

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