Staples to Close 225 Stores
'Proves Postal Counters Are a Bad Idea’
03/10/2014 - The March 6 announcement by Staples CEO Ron Sargent that the office-supply chain will close 225 stores by the end of 2015, “Proves that it’s a bad idea to turn over public postal services to a private company that can close stores with no public input,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.
“The Postal Service has given Staples a no-bid deal to operate postal counters — staffed by low-wage, high-turnover employees — at more than 80 stores,” he said. The Postmaster General plans to expand the “pilot program” to all of Staples’ 1,536 U.S. stores, Dimondstein noted, and bills pending in Congress would make it easier to close and sell Post Offices.
“The Postmaster General denies the Staple deal scheme is privatization. But what else could it be? Taking the work of the public U.S. Postal Service and turning it over to a private, for-profit business like Staples is privatization. Taking living-wage USPS jobs and replacing them with low-wage jobs like the ones Staples offers isprivatization,” he said.
“The Staples deal is a direct assault on our jobs,” Dimondstein declared.
The APWU has been waging a vigorous campaign against the program and insisting that postal counters in retail stores must be staffed with highly-trained, uniformed postal employees who are accountable to the American people.
“Instead of bailing out a failing company like Staples, the Postal Service should use its unmatched nationwide network to explore new opportunities, such as low-cost basic banking, that meet the needs of consumers.”
The union is making plans for a National Day of Action on Thursday, April 24, to Stop Staples!
In the meantime, the APWU is urging union members to sign the petition at StopStaples.comand to spread the word to families, friends and neighbors.
Clerk Craft Settlements Impact Jobs, Conversions
The USPS acknowledged in a Feb. 25 settlement that its obligation to create desirable new duty assignments from “all available work hours” includes hours worked by Postal Support Employees, Clerk Craft officers report. The Postal Service asserted in an Oct. 24, 2013, Step 4 Dispute that it was not required to consider PSE hours.
“I am pleased to announce that this dispute has been resolved,” said Assistant Clerk Director Lamont Brooks.
Another Feb. 25 settlement stipulates that newly converted unencumbered regulars will be assigned to residual vacancies, in accordance with Article 37.4 of the contract. The dispute arose with the first conversions under the 2010-2015 contract, when management converted part-time regulars and part-time flexibles to full time and placed them in Non-Traditional Full-Time work assignments of less than 40 hours per week.
The APWU asserted that the employees should have been assigned to available residual vacancies, positions that remained open at the completion of the voluntary bidding process. The settlement endorsed the union’s position.