Union to protest postal counters in Staples stores

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP/WPRI) — Postal workers have planned protests in 27 states Thursday against the opening of postal counters in Staples stores that are staffed with Staples employees.

Last year, Staples office supply stores began providing postal services under a pilot program that now includes some 80 stores. The American Postal Workers Union objects because the program replaces well-paid union workers with low-wage nonunion workers.

The union says that could lead to layoffs and the closing of post offices. In a statement, the union said postal workers “have taken an oath to protect the sanctity of the mail,” unlike poorly trained retail workers. The union wants the counters staffed by uniformed postal workers.

According to the National Day of Action plan provided by the union, protests are planned in both Providence and Springfield, Massachusetts on Thursday.

The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service has been working to form partnerships with private companies as it tries to cut costs and boost revenues.

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