APWU Assembles Team of Experts To Oppose Staples-Office Depot Merger

stop-staples-200WASHINGTON, March 6, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) announced today that the 200,000–member union, with the assistance of the AFL-CIO, has engaged a team of financial advisors, lawyers and economists to challenge the merger between Staples and Office Depot.

The union is urging the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to block a merger that it sees as monopolistic and unlawful. The union also will reach out to members of Congress and state and local officials to raise objections. Continue reading

Donahoe: ‘Stop Staples’ Campaign is Taking a Toll

From the American Postal Workers Union:

01/16/2015 – Outgoing Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe made headlines when he blamed postal unions and big mailers for the Postal Service’s problems in a recent farewell address, but he made a few other surprising comments as well.

In a speech to the National Press Club on Jan. 6, Donahoe admitted that the union’s Stop Staples campaign has “disrupted” the Postal Service’s deal with the office-supply chain. It has also made it more difficult for the USPS to get other businesses to participate in management’s scheme to privatize postal retail operations, he said.

“Just last year the American Postal Workers Union mounted a protest campaign and disrupted our partnership with Staples,” the Postmaster General said. “Unfortunately, it’s now tougher for us to find retail partners,” he added.

“This shows the effectiveness of the Stop Staples campaign,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein said. “When you’re out there telling your co-workers, friends and neighbors not to shop at Staples, you’re making a difference. When you pass out flyers at Staples stores and ask their customers to shop elsewhere, you’re protecting living-wage, union jobs, and you’re protecting the public Postal Service.”

Wrong Again

In the speech to reporters, Donahoe mischaracterized the union’s position, saying “the APWU approach is to try to keep all of our transactions in post offices.”

Not true. The union would have considered supporting the pilot if the Staples postal counters were staffed with USPS employees. As the APWU reported  just after President Mark Dimondstein took office in 2013, “In a meeting with Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe on Nov. 20, the union president insisted that if the plan proceeds, the postal units at Staples must be staffed by career postal employees.”

Dimondstein added, “The APWU supports the expansion of postal services. However, we are adamantly opposed to 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.”

As secret USPS documents later revealed, that was the management’s true motive: To replace Postal Service retail associates with low-wage Staples employees.

“We’re going to continue to fight the Postal Service’s dirty deal with Staples until they get out of the postal business,” Dimondstein said.

via Donahoe: ‘Stop Staples’ Campaign is Taking a Toll | APWU.

PMG tells postal workers “The Staples relationship has been good for our business”

From USPS News Link:

Today’s customers demand more convenience, and the Postal Service is ready to offer it, with innovative programs for access to postal products and services.

“Customers want one-stop shopping,” PMG Pat Donahoe says in his latest video message to employees. “That’s why major retailers are adding services in their retail stores, like dry cleaning, pharmacies, banking and medical services. If the Postal Service is not at the table, our competitors will be.”

Donahoe explains that the pilot program started with Staples last October is an example of the innovation needed. “Improving access for our customers is the reason we launched the pilot program,” he says. “The Staples relationship has been good for our business. It has put volume in the mailstream, and increasing volume helps to preserve and support Postal Service jobs.”

The Staples pilot program will end starting Aug. 1. Participating Staples stores will transition to the Postal Service’s Approved Shipper Program, which is expected to be complete by Aug. 29.

“The Approved Shipper Program will give customers access beyond normal Post Office hours, in areas where we don’t have regular Post Offices,” Donahoe said, noting that 27 percent of the postal business in the Staples pilot occurred outside normal business hours. “With more outlets for our products and services, the Postal Service can grow business.”

The Approved Shipper Program has been in place since 2005 and almost 6,200 businesses participate nationwide.

Read more: USPS News Link Story – ‘Good for our business’.

USPS and Staples to end retail outsourcing program

Staples-that-was-easy.-LogoThe Wall Street Journal and other media outlets report that Staples and the US Postal Service have agreed to end the pilot program that sought to outsource post office retail services to counters inside Staples stores. Staples will instead join the USPS “approved shipper” program:

Staples Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service said Monday they will end a pilot program to set up mini post offices in the company’s retail outlets, days after one of the nation’s biggest teachers unions called for a boycott of the chain amid growing criticism from labor.

Darleen Reid, a postal agency spokeswoman, declined to say whether union opposition had played a role in deciding to end the pilot program, which will end by Aug. 1. “We respect their right to their opinion,” Ms. Reid said. “This decision is all about expanding service to our customers.”

The announcement from Staples appeared to mark a retreat from a plan to expand the program into the chain’s nearly 1,500 outlets if the pilot was successful.

But the postal workers union said it wasn’t satisfied and called the announcement a ruse. “This attempt at trickery shows that the ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ movement is having an effect. We intend to keep up the pressure until Staples gets out of the mail business,” said Mark Dimondstein, president of the postal workers union, which has 200,000 members representing about half of the nation’s postal workers.

USPS spokesperson Darleen Reid may have inadvertently confirmed Dimondstein’s claim when she told the Boston Globe

We look forward to continuing the partnership whether it’s called Retail Partner Expansion or approved shipper. We just want our customers to know they can continue to get postal services at these 82 locations.

Read more: Staples, Postal Service to End Program to Set Up Post Offices – WSJ.

Massachustts teachers join Staples boycott

AFT_Logo-2BOSTON – AFT Massachusetts, which represents teachers, school workers, public librarians and college faculty across Massachusetts, announced today that it was joining a growing boycott of the office supply and bulk goods retailer Staples. The announcement by Massachusetts teachers and school workers is significant because the Bay State is one of four test markets for a pilot program that moves postal services from local Post Offices to Staples stores. Additionally, Staples corporate headquarters is located in Framingham, Massachusetts. Continue reading