APWU Web News Article #029-14, Feb. 14, 2014
Playing a protracted game of hide-and-seek, the USPS and Staples are refusing to come clean about the pilot program that outsources postal retail work to the office-supply chain.
The USPS brushed off the union’s Nov. 22, 2013, 27-point request for information, claiming most of the requests were “overly broad” in scope, “unduly burdensome” or that the information sought was of a “proprietary and/or confidential nature.”
On some matters the Postal Service also said the union must first “explain the relevance” of the requested information to the union’s responsibility. Much of the information the USPS did provide was redacted.
The union challenged the Postal Service’s response, and has filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations.
“We have a right to this information,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein said, “and we are going after it. But make no mistake: We are not going to win this fight by filing charges or submitting grievances.
“We will only win if the members of the APWU and people of the country are willing to fight for a vibrant, public Postal Service.”
Postal workers also got the brush-off from Staples’ corporate headquarters.
In a Nov. 25 letter to Staples CEO Ron Sargent, the union president said, “The APWU supports expanding postal services to the people of this country and under the right circumstances we could support this program.
“However, we have some serious concerns that need to be discussed and addressed.” Dimondstein offered to meet in Washington or at a mutually agreeable date at the Staples headquarters, but the CEO refused.
“As a matter of policy,” the company responded, “Staples does not discuss the terms of vendor agreements with third parties. Given this policy, we think it is appropriate for you to discuss your concerns directly with the U.S. Postal Service.”
Union members who wrote to Staples got a similar response.
What are they trying to hide?