The U.S. Postal Service said Thursday that it would end a partnership with Staples Inc. that allowed customers to send packages from more than 500 of the office supplier’s stores, yielding to a yearslong campaign by the postal workers’ union. The pullback comes after the National Labor Relations Board in November ordered the post office to end the partnership. A USPS spokeswoman said Thursday the service wouldn’t fight the order. The American Postal Workers Union, which represents 200,000 postal workers nationwide, protested the relationship, arguing that it transferred many of their duties to Staples employees and put the post office on a path toward privatization. The average postal union member makes about $25 an hour, much more than the typical Staples employee. … Staples launched a mini-post-office program in 2013 that prompted the union to boycott the chain and picket its shareholder meetings. The retailer scrapped the pilot months later but still participated in the USPS’s Approved Shipper program for basic services like priority mail. Shipper PostNet and Staples rival Office Depot Inc. also offer Approved Shipper services. The November NLRB order didn’t affect those relationships or sales of stamps, which remain available at many retailers. Staples said that customers still would have access to shipping services through a continuing agreement with United Parcel Service Inc. …
PRC Documents Shed Light on Shady Staples Privatization Deal
Source: American Postal Workers Union, July 9, 2015
In response to a lawsuit filed by the APWU, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has coughed up 231 documents that shed new light on the secretive deal between Staples and the Postal Service. Perhaps most jarring is the acknowledgement that the Staples’ deal was intended to serve as a model for transferring postal retail operations from the U.S. Postal Service to private retailers….“These documents show that the management’s dirty deal with Staples was designed to be a blueprint for offering postal services through private retailers. This privatization would dismantle the public Postal Service and close post offices.” observed APWU President Mark Dimondstein.
AFL-CIO Endorses Postal Workers’ Boycott of Staples
Source: Mike Hall, AFL-CIO Now blog, June 2, 2014
The AFL-CIO has endorsed the Postal Workers’ (APWU’s) boycott of the office supply giant Staples over the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS’s) privatization of retail operations by contracting mail services to Staples, with “postal counters” staffed with low-wage, high-turnover Staples employees rather than postal employees. The USPS began contracting out postal services to Staples in October. So far, 80 Staples stores are part of the pilot program. But the USPS plans to expand the scheme to 1,500 Staples locations nationwide at the same time the USPS is eliminating public post offices.
Postal Workers Protest At Staples Over Shift In Jobs
Source: Yuki Noguchi, NPR, April 24, 2014
…Speaking at a protest in Washington, D.C., postal union President Mark Dimondstein says it’s fine that the Postal Service wants to open counters in retail outlets, as it began to last year in Staples stores. The problem, he says, are the terms. “Our demand on the question of the USPS-Staples deal was to put postal employees in those postal units,” Dimondstein says. Instead, the counters are staffed by Staples employees. And the Postal Service has made clear it hopes to keep expanding within the Staples chain and with other similar partners. “Eventually these [kinds of] deals are going to shift living wage jobs in the postal system to non-living wage jobs in the retail sector,” Dimondstein says…..