May 29, 2014 – SAN FRANCISCO – In the wake of a secretive, sweetheart deal to outsource postal operations to low-wage, high-turnover Staples stores, the U.S. Postal Service is reducing customer service hours at 21 of 39 U.S. Post Office stations in San Francisco. Cutbacks in hours are also planned in surrounding Bay Area communities.
“They’re shutting the doors at 5 p.m. and posting signs sending people to private locations – including Staples – to conduct postal business,” said Geoffray Dumaguit, president of the San Francisco Local of the American Postal Workers Union. “This will inconvenience and irritate our customers, who often need to visit a Post Office after work.”
Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe has denied that Staples stores would replace any of the nation’s 33,000 traditional Post Offices, but six months into the program, hours are being curtailed at nearby USPS offices.
The Postmaster General also claimed there would be no loss of USPS jobs as a result of the Staples deal, which allows the retail giant to conduct most of the business U.S. Post Offices handle. But the postal counters in Staples stores are staffed with low-wage Staples employees with no experience and little training, rather than highly-trained uniformed Postal Service employees.
The no-bid deal with Staples began at more than 80 retail outlets in California and three other states, with plans to expand to 1,500 locations nationwide.