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APWU protests Staples Inc. stores for providing mail postal services

06.11.14

JUNE 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

APWU protests Staples Inc. stores for providing mail postal services

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, May 14th- The American Postal Workers Union (APWU), which represents mail processing employees of the United States Postal Service (USPS) throughout the nation, have begun a campaign against Staples Inc. stores and held a ‘national day of action’ by protesting at the retailers stores throughout the nation and in the Lehigh Valley.

Local 268 represents APWU members throughout the Lehigh Valley and conducted a protest in front of the Staples store in Easton.

According to Local 268 President Bernie Ogozalek, Staples signed a pilot program with the USPS that will hurt his members by providing postal services that are now done by APWU members. The sites where the services are provided are being staffed with Staples employees. The program is currently being conducted in 82 stores in Georgia, Massachusetts, California and Pennsylvania including Staples Easton store.

The union held protests in 27 states throughout the nation and have requested fellow union members not purchase office supplies at Staples unless the retailer negotiates with the APWU about manning the postal services department with their members.

Mr. Ogozalek voiced his disappointment with the USPS for agreeing to the new pilot program that surely is intended to begin the privitization of the postal service.

The USPS Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe suggested that the partnership between the postal service and Staples will not result in job losses at the USPS, but will grow the business. However, Mr. Ogozalek and his International Union find that hard to believe.

According the the APWU International Union office, the USPS and Staples are attempting to incorporate postal revenues into Staples Inc. stores, not expand the business.

The APWU and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Union represents the majority of the USPS workers. The two labor organizations have a combined membership of around 390,000 workers. NALC members collect and deliver mail and packages of customers of the USPS.

The APWU fears that if the new pilot agreement between the USPS and Staples is considered successful it may be expanded to the retailers other 1,600 stores and other retailers may follow, resulting in massive job losses for their members.

The APWU members have already been effected by the USPS consolidation of mail processing centers throughout the nation.