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Union Delivers the Message
At Bay Area Staples Stores

APWU Web News Article #009-14, Jan. 17, 2014

The postal counter at a Staples store in Berkeley, CA

East Bay Area Local President Stephen Lysaght (left) and National Business Agent Shirley Taylor speak to a Staples Manager (right).

APWU leaders in California recently delivered the union’s message to 13 Staples stores in the San Francisco Bay area: Opening postal retail units staffed by non-USPS employees is a disservice to postal workers and the nation’s mail service.

An APWU delegation covered a lot of ground on Jan. 14, paying visits to the office-supply retail chain’s outlets in Berkeley, El Cerrito, Pinole, Pittsburg, Antioch, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Napa, San Ramon, Sean Leandro, Fairfield, and two locations in Freemont.

At each location the group hand-delivered a letter to the store manager expressing the union’s disapproval of the company’s privatized postal staffing arrangement. “Only U.S. Postal Service postal employees are fully accountable to the public, and sworn to uphold the sanctity of the mail,” the letter said.

The APWU officers included East Bay Area Local President Stephen Lysaght, Vice President Lisa Herrera and Legislative Director Al Ross, as well as National Business Agents Shirley Taylor, Chuck Locke and Jimmie Waldon.

The APWU delegation was “received and treated cordially at all stores except Berkeley,” they reported. In Berkeley, where there has been a great deal of community opposition to USPS efforts to sell the historic post office, Staples’ acting manager greeted the APWU delegation warily and refused to discuss the matter.

More than 30 of the 80+ pilot sites are located in California. The others are located in or around Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and central Massachusetts. If successful, the program could be expanded to all of Staples 1,600 stores nationwide.

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