Postal Workers Protest USPS Partnership With Staples - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Postal Workers Protest USPS Partnership With Staples

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DOVER, Del. - Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night will stop postal workers from delivering the mail, and if Thursday's protesters have anything to do with it, Staples won't either.     

Chanting "US mail is not for sale," about a dozen members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) in Delaware joined a nation-wide movement, rallying against an agreement between USPS and Staples to open postal counters at the office retailer.

Those counters will be manned by Staples employees, which the APWU fears is a step to privatize the postal service.

"We look at this as one of the avenues that they're going to use to say the work can be done outside of the post office," says Gwendolyn Lane, President of the Delaware APWU.

It's a step that could, potentially, jeopardize some 500 jobs in the First State.  The postal service, however, denies claims of privatization.

For the postal workers protesting in Dover, it's not just a concern for possibly lost jobs, but also a worry about the safety and security of the mail going through potentially under-trained hands.

"When you bring it to the post office, you know that we are responsible.  By bringing it to staples we can't say that," says Lane.

The signs read "Stop Staples," but some think the protest is misguided.

"It's a very good reflection. Is the postal service...have they created this?  Some would suggest "yes," although the effort is to correct it by stopping it," says Gerald Brady, Executive Director of the Delaware AFL-CIO.

The partnership with Staples isn't the first time postal services have been out-sourced to a private company.  Back in 1989, the union fought and won against a similar venture with the retailer Sears.

Back in November, the Postal Service and Staples created a pilot program, opening 82 postal counters at Staples throughout the country.

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