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APWU Announces National Protest Of STAPLES Stores On April 24th

stop-staples-275Postal Workers to Protest Privatization at
More than 50 Staples Stores 
in 27 States on April 24

Message to Staples: The U.S. Mail Is Not for Sale

WASHINGTON – Thousands of members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and community activists will engage in National Day of Action on Thursday, April 24, to protest the Postal Service’s sweetheart deal with Staples that is moving mail service into Staples stores.  Events will be held at more than 50 Staples retail locations across 27 states.

In October, the USPS announced a no-bid deal to open postal counters in more than 80 Staples stores. The U.S. Postal Service plans to expand this “pilot” project to Staples’ 1,500 stores nationwide.

Staples employees, who work for low wages and meager benefits – and who have received minimal training – operate these unsecured postal counters.

Although Staples and the Postal Service have worked hard to keep the details of their arrangement a secret, the APWU recently obtained a heavily-redacted copy of the agreement.  Despite the fact that many of the pages were blacked out, the document provides clear evidence that the Staples sweetheart deal will compromise the quality, security and reliability that consumers expect and deserve in the handling of their mail.

tumblr_inline_n44n7aUrw81sz6kfn“The American people have a right to know that their mail is handled by highly-trained uniformed postal employees who have taken an oath to protect the sanctity of the mail and who are accountable to the people of the country – whether it’s at the Post Office or an office-supply store,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.

Research shows that consumers have high regard for postal employees and are skeptical about the Staples deal, according to InfoTrends, which recently completed a report for the USPS Inspector General. Many postal customers, the firm reported, “were uncomfortable with co-location of Post Offices not staffed by USPS employees, such as with the Postal Service’s recent partnership with Staples stores.”

‘I want a real postal employee to handle my mail,’ said one woman from an urban location. ‘It’s like when you go in to a drug store to get a flu shot. You don’t want to get it from a regular Walgreen’s employee.’

An internal USPS document makes clear that the goal of the program is to replace the good, living-wage jobs held by USPS employees with low-wage jobs in the private sector.

“But this isn’t just about postal jobs,” Dimondstein said. “Many people are outraged that a tremendous public asset is being turned over to a struggling private company.”  Staples recently announced that it would close 225 stores by 2015.

“Staples makes business decisions based on the bottom line, not service to the people of the country,” Dimondstein said.

“As a nation, we need to decide what kind of Postal Service we want. Are we going to have a vibrant, modern, public mail system that serves all of the people, or are we going to let privatizers kill this great institution?” The APWU supports expanding postal service – by improving accessibility as well as the variety of services offered, he said.

Today’s National Day of Action follows protests by postal workers and community allies in Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Berkeley and other cities since January.

Many teachers, who regularly buy school supplies at Staples, have joined the APWU in protesting this attempt to privatize postal services. On April 28, the California Federation of Teachers will vote on a resolution asking their members to buy school supplies from other retailers. This will likely be the first of many similar actions by educators to boycott Staples. It’s estimated that 30 percent of Staples revenue comes from back-to-school sales.

(FOR THOSE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ABOUT OUR EVENT IN CONCORD)

 * * * * * *

For more information about the Stop Staples campaign, visit StopStaples.com.  A copy of the agreement between Staples and the USPS – heavily redacted – is available on the APWU website, at www.apwu.org

For additional background information, see these recent stories from the Huffington Post, New Republic and the Associated Press:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/15/postal-service-staples_n_5155270.html?1397597725

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116968/usps-outsourcing-itself-staples

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/19/postal-service-union-wrangle-over-staples-outlets/4647199/

 

# # #

 

The American Postal Workers Union represents 200,000 employees of the United States Postal Service. The union is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

USPS Workers To Rally Against Postal Units In Staples Stores On 4-24-14

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Please join the Postal Workers on Thursday April 24, from 4-6 pm in Concord NH for a peaceful demonstration near the Concord Staples on Fort Eddy Road (across from LL Bean at exit 14 off of 93 N). Help us to STOP the privatization & destruction of The U.S.P.S. before it’s too late. 

A recent 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.

We fully support 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. This is nothing less than a direct assault on our jobs and on public postal services.

For more information call Janice at 513-8176 or Dana at 669-2414.

You can also join the Facebook Event and share the details through Facebook!

picket flyer

APWU to Launch National Campaign Against Outsourcing USPS Services to Staples

Protests Begin in San Francisco and San Jose Tues., Jan. 28
Message to Staples: When it comes to mail – NO SALE
USPS workers must staff postal counters

From Left to Right:  Janice Kelble, Dana Coletti, (President Manchester Area Local & NH Postal Workers Union), Deb Smith, Joe Steele, Mike Lafayette and daughter Maeve

Image from a local NH APWU action at Staples.
From Left to Right:
Janice Kelble, Dana Coletti, (President Manchester Area Local & NH Postal Workers Union), Deb Smith, Joe Steele, Mike Lafayette and daughter Maeve

SAN FRANCISCO — Members of the American Postal Workers Union, joined by community activists, will launch protests against a deal between the U.S. Postal Service and Staples to move mail services into Staples stores. The first protests in the nation will begin in San Francisco Tuesday morning and later move to San Jose in the afternoon.

In October, USPS announced a no-bid agreement to open postal counters with limited service in more than 80 Staples stores. The Staples-operated and staffed postal counters will open on a trial basis in four markets across the United States: Northern California, Atlanta, GA, Pittsburgh, PA and Central Massachusetts. After the trial period, the Postmaster General has said the plan is to expand to 1,500 stores.

WHO: Members of the American Postal Workers Union, community activists, individuals who regularly use postal services

WHAT: Protests outside Northern California Staples stores

WHEN/WHERE: 10 a.m., Jan. 28th, Staples, 1700 Van Ness, San Francisco

4 p.m., Jan. 28th, Staples, 121 Bernal Road, San Jose

“All Americans should have access to a full-service post office,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “Although first-class mail is declining, package delivery is growing, largely due to e-commerce. This is when we should be expanding the post office to offer longer hours and more options, such as public notary and basic banking. Instead, we are giving customers fewer postal services as a result of this no-bid sweetheart deal with Staples. If we’re going to have mini-Post Offices located in Staples stores, they should still be operated by USPS workers.”

Staples has been struggling recently, shutting 40 stores in the last quarter. The publicly-traded company runs a low-wage operation, with high employee turnover, designed to deliver bulk commodities to customers.

Although the USPS handles 160 billion pieces of mail each year – 40 percent of the world’s total – mail is not a bulk commodity. Each package is individually addressed, and requires individual handling.

During this time of rampant identity theft, privacy and security are of concern to millions of postal customers. Uniformed USPS employees are required to take an oath and pass a background check before they can handle mail and make credit card transactions. Retailers, such as Staples, cannot offer the same assurances.

“Without public debate and despite claims to the contrary, the USPS is moving to shutter the reliable neighborhood post office and move work to Staples and other for-profit businesses,” said Dimondstein “Our union wants to shed a light on this bad deal. We’re confident that when the public learns what’s going on they will say, ‘Staples, when it comes to mail without USPS workers – no sale.”

 

For more information, see this recent story from the Associated Press

Also a similar story from NH:
NH Postal Workers Vehemently Oppose Opening ‘Postal Units’ In Staples Stores – NH Labor News

 

The American Postal Workers Union represents 200,000 employees of the United States Postal Service. The union is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

NH Postal Workers Vehemently Oppose Opening ‘Postal Units’ In Staples Stores

A small group of postal workers from the American Postal Workers Union and the local community delivered a letter to the manager of the Manchester Staples store.

From Left to Right:  Janice Kelble, Dana Coletti, (President Manchester Area Local & NH Postal Workers Union), Deb Smith, Joe Steele, Mike Lafayette and daughter Maeve

From Left to Right:
Janice Kelble, Dana Coletti, (President Manchester Area Local & NH Postal Workers Union), Deb Smith,
Mike Lafayette and daughter Maeve

The postal workers letter states:

APWU LogoWe want to let you know that we vehemently oppose the opening of pilot “postal units” staffed by non-USPS employees in more than 80 Staples stores located in various parts of the country, six of them located in our neighboring state of Massachusetts.”

“While we support the expansion of postal services and increasing convenience for customers, we can only support offering postal services that are provided by career postal employees.”

The pilot program would open postal units in approximately 80 Staples stores nationwide.  The postal counters would be able to handle most of your everyday postal needs, like buying stamps and sending letters.

We are adamantly opposed to any efforts to replace decent postal jobs with non-union, low- wage, non-postal workers who have no accountability for the safety and security of the mail.”

It has been well documented that Staples in one of the ’50 largest low-wage employers’.  The National Employment Law Project reported that the majority of the 33,000 Staples employees make less than $10.00 per hour.

Another part of the pilot program is tied to Congressman Issa’s postal reform legislation that would close 1,200 post offices that are located less than a few miles from the store.  Closing these post offices would mean that people would not have access to services that can only been completed at a post office like: PO Boxes, certified mail, insured mail, and passport photos.

What happens when Staples decides to ‘restructure’ and decides to close one of these stores with a postal counter? Poof, no post office at all!  It is completely baffling that the USPS would try to grow by cutting services and closing post offices.  

“We understand that Staples hopes to increase business by placing these “postal units” in their stores however, if these postal services are not being provided by postal employees, we will have no choice but to ask our members, families, friends and colleagues (many who are currently Staples customers) to refrain from continuing to do business with your store. Postal employees live and work in every city and town across the country and we will work to ensure that postal services continue to be provided by well-trained postal employees.”

 

Click here to read the full letter from the APWU.

 

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