The APWU is fighting a secretive deal between the the U.S. Postal Service and Staples that jeopardizes mail service and local post offices – along with thousands of living-wage jobs.
The Postal Service and Staples launched a no-bid, trial program in the fall of 2013 that established postal counters in 82 of the office-supply stores, which they planned to expand to locations across the country. The knock-off post offices were staffed with low-wage, poorly-trained Staples employees rather than USPS employees.
The APWU objected to the program, asserting that the American people have a right to post offices staffed by highly-trained, uniformed Postal Service employees, who are sworn to safeguard the mail and who are accountable to the people. The union offered to participate in the trial program if the postal counters in Staples stores were staffed with USPS employees, but postal managers and Staples rejected the idea. They also refused to provide the union with information about the deal.
After months of stonewalling by the USPS and Staples, in April 2014, the APWU launched a ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ campaign, which was endorsed by the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, AFSCME, SEIU, and many other labor organizations.
In an effort to derail the ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ movement, in July 2014 the USPS and Staples announced they were ending the trial program, but replacing it with another program that was essentially the same. Soon after, they announced the “new” program would be expanded to all of Staples’ 1,500 U.S. stores.
The Staples program is bad for postal customers, who receive less-than top-notch service, and whose letters and packages are unprotected while they sit in Staples stores awaiting pick-up by USPS employees. It threatens the Postal Service as we know it, as postal management closes neighborhood post offices and shortens operating hours. The deal also replaces living-wage jobs that our communities depend on with low-wage jobs that hurt our economy.
The APWU is continuing to fight the shady Staples deal with ongoing protests at Staples stores in numerous cities and by telling supporters: 'Don't Buy Staples.'