Postal Workers Protest Staples For Mail Service - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Postal Workers Protest Staples For Mail Service

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Los Angeles, CA -

Thousands of postal workers around the country are expected to protest the opening of postal counters in Staples stores that are staffed with retail employees.

Thursday's protests are planned at 50 locations in 27 states, including rallies in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Last year, Framingham, Mass.-based Staples Inc. began offering postal services under a pilot program that now includes some 80 stores. The American Postal Workers Union objects, because they say well-paid union workers have been replaced by low-wage nonunion workers.

The union says that could lead to layoffs and post office closings. The union says postal workers "have taken an oath to protect the sanctity of the mail," unlike retail workers.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says the program has nothing to do with privatization but is a response to customer demands for convenience.

From Gina Silva:

Postal employees spent the morning protesting outside Staples stores across the country. Here in Los Angeles about a hundred people chanted outside a Staples store on Wilshire and Figueroa, "The U.S. mail is not fore sale!" Employees are upset with a new deal between the postal service and Staples.

Last October, the Unites States Postal Service announced it would be opening postal counters in more than 80 Staples stores with a goal of expanding to 1,500 nationwide. The people working the counters will be Staples employees. Postal workers say they're losing their jobs to non-union, lower-wage employees. The USPS issued the following statement, "

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

This retail partnership program could be an innovative step towards generating revenue to ensure the long-term viability of the Postal Service."

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