APWU

Staples Picketers Protest Privatization of Post Offices

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Seventy protesters, chanting “the U.S. Mail is not for sale”, picketed the Staples office supply store in Cascade Station shopping center, before being kicked off the premises by mall security this afternoon. “Staples is setting up knock-off post offices inside their stores that jeopardize our nation’s public post offices, the sanctity of the mail and thousands of good jobs at living wages,” said organizer Jamie Partridge of Communities and Postal Workers United.

Staples has contracted with the US Postal Service to staff post offices installed within their stores. In pilot openings last fall, 82 post offices were launched inside Staples stores with low-paid, non-union, non-postal workers (the average Staples worker makes $18,000 per year). If the pilots are “successful”, the USPS plans to open post offices inside every one of the 1,600 Staples stores nationwide, beginning this September.

As community post offices are being closed and hours reduced, understaffed with lines out the door, the USPS is opening up private post offices, staffed by poorly trained, unaccountable Staples employees. “The public should not be fooled by claims of better service. Staples workers are not sworn to safeguard the mail. The risk of theft from the mail deposited in a Staples post office is very real,” stated Partridge.

Urging individuals and institutions to boycott Staples, the protesters vowed to increase pressure on the office supply chain until they dropped the postal contract.

(Source: Portland Communities and Postal Workers United)

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