The U.S. Postal Service and Staples began a pilot program in which Staples will provide postal products and services in their retail stores, sparking protests by USPS employees.
Staples will provide postal services at 82 stores nationwide, none in Arizona, and is the first enterprise-level chain store to participate in the U.S. Postal Services’ Retail Expansion Program, USPS said.
The American Postal Workers Unions has planned protests in what they view as the privatization of postal services.
“The American people have a right to know that their mail is handled by highly-trained uniformed postal employees who have taken an oath to protect the sanctity of the mail and who are accountable to the people of the country- whether it’s at the Post Office or an office-supply store," said APWU President Mark Dimondstein in a statement posted on the APWU website .
The expansion program is an opportunity to grow the business and is not an earmark to pave a way to privatization, USPS said.
“This isn’t just about postal jobs,” Dimondstein said. “Many people are outraged that a tremendous public asset is being turned over to a struggling private company.
Postal workers will protest at more than 50 stores in 27 states on April 24, APWU said. No protests are planned for Arizona.