Postal Updates

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

Postal union rejects claim that the Staples deal is off

July 18, 2014 06:55 AM

Another effort by the United States Postal Service to get a retail chain to run mini-post offices seems to have collapsed.

But the American Postal Workers Union, which had been demonstrating against the USPS agreement with the Staples office supply chain, is not claiming victory.

On July 14, the Postal Service and Staples announced they had agreed to end a pilot program of testing postal sales at 82 Staples locations.

“Based on the information learned from the test, the Postal Service and Staples have agreed to end the pilot by August 1st,” said a news release.

But the APWU rejected the news as “a ruse.”

All that is happening, said the union in a statement from its Washington headquarters, is that Staples and the Postal Service “are changing the name of the program, without addressing the fundamental concerns of postal workers and postal customers.”

The USPS announcement acknowledged that “the 82 store locations will be transitioned into the U.S. Postal Service’s long established Approved Shipper Program by August 29th.”

That means Staples stores can still “offer the most commonly requested postal services, including domestic and international Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and First-Class shipping and mailing services,” the Postal Service said.

“This attempt at trickery shows that the ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ movement is having an effect,” the mail union stated.

“We intend to keep up the pressure until Staples gets out of the mail business,” it said, adding, “The U.S. Mail Is Not for Sale.”

The APWU employed a similar boycott of the Sears chain in 1989 after it allowed the USPS to open postal sales counters inside its stores.

Sears ended its agreement with the USPS after the union attacked the agreement as an effort to end the jobs of its members who man the retail windows at the nation’s post offices.