Washington – The American Postal Workers Union announced today that the 200,000–member organization will “vigorously oppose” the merger between Staples and Office Depot. “We will urge the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to block this monopolistic and unlawful merger now, just as they did 17 years ago,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “And we call on Congress to weigh in with the FTC and the Department of Justice to stop it.
“A Staples takeover of Office Depot would lead to higher prices for consumers and store closings that would affect employees and customers alike,” Dimondstein said. “There are new grounds to block this combination as well,” he added.
In the past year, over the objections of the APWU, consumer organizations, civil rights advocates and teacher groups, Staples has begun offering mail services at its retail stores. In doing so, Staples has replaced highly-trained USPS workers with its own unskilled, low-wage employees. Concurrently, the USPS has reduced hours in some post offices and encouraged customers to use Staples stores instead.
In documents obtained by the union, the Postal Service outlined plans to transfer USPS work to Staples in order to reduce employment and hours of service to the public in neighborhood post offices. “The transfer of living-wage jobs to low-wage, poverty-level jobs is not in the public interest,” Dimondstein said. “Staples is an anti-worker corporation, and we don’t want to see its reach expanded. We will vigorously oppose this merger. It’s bad for workers and bad for consumers.”
APWU will begin reaching out to allies in the civil rights and labor communities to join the union in opposing the merger.
Since January 2014, the American Postal Workers Union and its allies have been staging protests at hundreds of Staples stores in opposition to the retailer’s deal with the U.S. Postal Service to offer postal services. A boycott of the office-supply store, which began in April, is ongoing.
For more information visit Stop Staples.com.
The American Postal Workers Union represents 200,000 employees of the United States Postal Service. The union is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.