Postal workers protest privatization at Staples

Members of the American Postal Workers Union staged a spirited protest  Thursday at a Staples store located in Baltimore. This was one of more than 50 rallies held  by union members, taking place at 80 Staples stores in 27 states across the country. A few local social justice activists also joined in support of the union.

The purpose of the demonstrations was to draw attention to a supposed “sweetheart deal” between the U.S. Postal Service and Staples, Inc., [an office supply company]. The union fears this deal will end up “privatizing USPS retail services and replacing good, living-wage postal jobs with low-wage, high-turnover jobs.”

Courtney Jenkins protesting outside of Staples in Baltimore.
Courtney Jenkins protesting outside of Staples in Baltimore.

A publicly owned and operated postal service pre-dates the founding of the American Republic. Thursday’s union activism was all part of a “National Day of Action.”

Ever since the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the idea of taking public assets, like schools and prisons, and turning them over to private corporations to run, has taken hold. Recently, the City of Chicago leased its parking meters to a private company for 75 years. Parking under the old system cost .25 cents an hour, now it costs a whopping $5.75 an hour!

The USPS insists the agreement is only a “pilot program,” under which it plans to operate 82 “postal counters” in Staples stores, staffed by their own employees. It’s no secret that Staples has been struggling lately. It has announced plans to close 225 of its stores by the year 2015.

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Speaking on camera about this controversy are: Tom Dodge of the “Community and Postal Workers United” and Courtney Jenkins, a postal worker.


5 thoughts on “Postal workers protest privatization at Staples

  • April 27, 2014 at 5:02 AM

    postal service is on life support and still requires taxpayer funding.

    I say go for it; we are already too deep in debt and cant keep spending like its 1990

  • April 27, 2014 at 2:23 AM

    Great article! I just had one thought though regarding the use of Chicago parking meter privatization as an example against the private sector.

    There were certainly problems with the sale of the business, mainly in that it was sold for hardly anything. That being said, while it is more expensive, it’s actually much easier to find parking in Chicago now. Because people park for shorter amounts of time now, more people are able to get in an out of the city to take care of their errands, business, etc. Once the initial political scandal is over I think the system will ultimately turn out to be more efficient.

  • April 27, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    I don’t like the service at a restaurant, eat somewhere else. I don’t like my job, get a new one. I don’t like where I live, move. I don’t like the service at a post office, go to staples. See the trend. Maybe if the post office didn’t employ so much dead beat, slow, and lazy people, they wouldn’t have this problem. They are overpaid and useless.

  • April 26, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    Good way to union your self out of a job.

  • April 26, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    Hmmmm…. I wonder if the Staples employee’s will treat me better than the grouchy, bitter beer faces at the post office?

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