APWU: Staples protests set for tomorrow in California

APWU members and supporters in California are preparing for the first round of protests at Staples stores on Tuesday, Jan. 28. The first rally will take place at 10 a.m. in San Francisco, in front of the Staples store at 1700 Van Ness Ave, with a second set to begin at 4 p.m. in San Jose, in front of the Staples store at 121 Bernal Road.

The activities are designed to call attention to the deal between the Postal Service and Staples that jeopardizes the nation’s public post offices and threatens good-paying union jobs.

The APWU has condemned the program, calling it “a direct assault on our jobs and on public postal services.” Approximately 40 percent of APWU members work in retail operations, so the threat to postal jobs and to public post offices is real, the union points out.

“The APWU supports the expansion of postal services and retail hours,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein said. “But we cannot accept USPS plans to replace good-paying union jobs with non-union low-wage jobs held by workers who have no accountability for the safety and security of the mail,” he said. “Postal workers deserve better, and our customers deserve better.”

The union is demanding that postal employees be assigned to perform the postal work at Staples stores. “You have a right to postal services provided by highly trained, uniformed Postal Service employees, who are sworn to safeguard your mail – whether it’s at the Post Office or Staples,” the union wrote in a flyer that will be handed out to customers and passersby outside the Staples stores.

If Staples and the USPS refuse, the APWU will ask customers to take their business elsewhere.

Just the Beginning

“The Jan. 28 rallies are just the beginning,” Dimondstein said. “We are prepared to engage in a sustained campaign to fix this deal or stop it.”

A nationwide day of actions will soon follow, he said, and protests will be scheduled in other locations where Staples stores have postal counters.

The APWU has been seeking support for its efforts in the labor movement and the community. The three other postal unions have pledged support for the fight. The California Federal of Teachers is also urging its members to support the APWU’s demands.

“The Teachers Unions are especially important allies in this fight,” Dimondstein said, because they are frequently Staples’ customers.”

“We will take this issue far and wide, looking for support among all those who believe in a public Postal Service and in protecting jobs that pay a living wage.”

  • Retired Postal

    I hope the PM sues the APWU for its actions. If there is a grievance file one. That’s the process that the APWU agreed to in the contract. But wait a minute they only follow the contract when it suits them. You have no right to picket an organization and hurt their business. This isn’t about union rights it’s about the APWU wanting to run the company. We need the Postal Service not radical unions that bring negative attention to the organization. Your going to protest yourselves out of a job.

  • JG4th

    Will they be protesting at all of the CPU’s that have been approved for decades? How about Office Depot which has had this arrangement for years already?

  • WRC

    The Unions have no intention on hurting private for profit businesses nor in running the postal service. The Union opposes the piece meal privatization of the postal service. America deserves the best postal service!
    The Union opposes contracting retail services to private companies because it is NOT for the convenience of postal patrons its for the profit of the private company and to increase traffic at it’s stores.
    The Union opposes closing post offices and reducing postal window service hours because it does not put the interests of the postal patron first. The Union opposes the consolidation of mail processing plants that delays the mail 2-4 days. That kind of service, with postage increases, does not put the interests of postal patrons first.
    The union opposes contracting out parcel processing to companies that have shown they can not deliver better to the American public.
    The elimination of postal neighborhood collection boxes and stamp vending machines does not put the postal customer first. The Union WANTS IMPROVED AND EXPENDED services provided by sworn civil servants NOT by low wage providing companies out to make a buck.
    And YES the Union is out to protect decent middle class jobs and full public services for the American public. Postal workers buy stamps too ! ! !