Concerned Americans and union members are busy making plans for events at more than 50 Staples stores in 27 states on Thursday, April 24, to protest the deal between the USPS and the office-supply chain.
“We must win this fight,” said union President Mark Dimondstein, “and we can win it — but only if the members of the American Postal Workers Union are engaged and involved in the struggle.
“We are urging union members to participate in a protest if an event is planned in their town, and to ask their co-workers, friends and family to take part as well,” he said.
“We are thrilled that our sisters and brothers in the National Association of Letters, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association have pledged their support for the campaign. That is the true meaning of solidarity,” he added.
The union is asking all Americans who wish to keep their trusted letter carrier handling their mail and walking their neighborhoods to sign an online petition at www.StopStaples.com.
A list of protest locations and the material is available on the union’s website www.apw.org. The agreement between the USPS and Staples established postal counters in 82 Staples stores — staffed with low-wage, non-union Staples employees rather than postal workers. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and Staples CEO Ron Sargent plan to expand the program to Staples’ 1,500 stores nationwide.
“This program is a direct threat to our jobs and to the public Postal Service,” Dimondstein said.
The Postmaster General has repeatedly denied that the program is part of an effort to privatize USPS retail operations, but documents management was forced to provide the APWU reveal the truth. A December 2012 internal USPS memo says: “The pilot will be used to determine if lower costs can be realized with retail partner labor instead of the labor traditionally associated with retail windows at Post Offices… Transferring USPS product and service transactions to retail partner locations should allow USPS to cut costs associated with window labor time and credit card transaction fees.”
“The true aim of the program couldn’t be clearer,” Dimondstein said.