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Postal Service, union wrangle over Staples outlets
Boston Herald ^ | January 19, 2014 | ap

Posted on 01/19/2014 7:28:46 AM PST by re_tail20

The opening of Postal Service retail centers in dozens of Staples stores around the country is being met with threats of protests and boycotts by the agency's unions.

The new outlets are staffed by Staples employees, not postal workers, and labor officials say that move replaces good-paying union jobs with low-wage, nonunion workers.

"It's a direct assault on our jobs and on public postal services," said Mark Dimondstein, president of the 200,000-member American Postal Workers Union.

The dispute comes as the financially struggling Postal Service continues to form partnerships with private companies, and looks to cut costs and boost revenues. The deal with Staples began as a pilot program in November at 84 stores in California, Georgia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania as a way make it easier for customers to buy stamps, send packages or use Priority and certified mail.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said the program has nothing to do with privatization and everything to do with customer service and driving up demand for the agency's products.

"The privatization discussion is a ruse," Donahoe said in an interview. "We have no interest in privatizing the Postal Service. We are looking to grow our business to provide customer convenience to postal products."

Staples spokeswoman Carrie McElwee referred questions about union concerns to the Postal Service. She said the company "continually tests new products and services to better meet the needs of our customers."

Union leaders fear that if the Staples program is successful, the Postal Service will want to expand it to more than 1,500 of the company's other stores. That could siphon work and customers away from nearby brick-and-mortar post offices, taking jobs from postal workers and even leading traditional post offices to close.

Union leaders have been visiting Staples stores to meet with managers,...

(Excerpt) Read more at bostonherald.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: postalstaples; postoffice; staples; usps

1 posted on 01/19/2014 7:28:46 AM PST by re_tail20
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To: re_tail20

“Back in 1988, the Postal Service tried a similar plan to put retail units in Sears stores in Chicago and Madison, Wis. APWU members picketed Sears headquarters in Chicago, mailed thousands of letters of protest to then Sears Chairman Ed Brennan and even cut up their Sears credit cards.

The pressure worked and a year later the program ended, with Sears saying it did not want to be at the center of a dispute between the Postal Service and the union. But the APWU’s membership now is almost half of what it was 25 years ago, and unions don’t carry the same clout they once did.”


2 posted on 01/19/2014 7:29:50 AM PST by re_tail20
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To: re_tail20

Meanwhile the Post Office at Drake is closed due to flood 4 months ago. The wheels of the mail are locked up by incompetence.


3 posted on 01/19/2014 7:32:44 AM PST by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: re_tail20

I wonder if UPS, FedEx or someone else will take their place?


4 posted on 01/19/2014 7:35:31 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Jealousy is when you count someone else's blessings instead of your own.)
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To: re_tail20

I’ve got to admit. I have a lot of respect for some in the postal service.

Their income is being diverted into government slush accounts, modernization is thwarted at every turn and they still they manage keep their head above water. Yet, they keep plugging away.


5 posted on 01/19/2014 7:39:09 AM PST by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

IIRC, UPS and FedEx already fly a lot of the Post Offices mail.

And the semis and box trucks that move it to the local PO are also owned by private companies.

The PO has been outsourcing their work to non-union shops for quite some time.


6 posted on 01/19/2014 7:42:51 AM PST by digger48
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To: re_tail20

Great idea to outsource the Postal Service to non-union Staples.

Another worthy idea would be to outsource janitorial services at the post office. In our town the Post Office janitors are paid more than $52,000 salary with benefits on top of the $52,000 annual salary.


7 posted on 01/19/2014 7:43:12 AM PST by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: re_tail20
"It's a direct assault on our jobs and on public postal services," said Mark Dimondstein, president of the 200,000-member American Postal Workers Union.

Here's a hint, Mark. The jobs are not yours. They belong to the American taxpayer.

8 posted on 01/19/2014 7:45:16 AM PST by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: re_tail20

We have one in the Ace Hardware and the employees are not postal workers.


9 posted on 01/19/2014 7:45:55 AM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Several of the staples stores in my area aleready ship packages via UPS.


10 posted on 01/19/2014 7:47:13 AM PST by matt04
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie

“I’ve got to admit. I have a lot of respect for some in the postal service.”

You mean that it’s o.k. for that “minority a$$hole” with whom you are forced to deal to buy some stamps or mail a package to be rude and unhelpful, or to close his or her window because the line is below its “prescribed length” and take a undeserved break. Those are the people for whom you have respect? Do you walk with a red-tipped cane too?


11 posted on 01/19/2014 8:00:44 AM PST by vette6387
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To: re_tail20

We now import Walmart junk from China rather than domestic produce.

These union clowns will all lose when the USPS goes tits up... keep it up, dumbasses.


12 posted on 01/19/2014 8:03:38 AM PST by Rodamala
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“I wonder if UPS, FedEx or someone else will take their place?”

They are doing it already.

FedEx Smart Post and UPS mail. They handle post mail packages part way and deliver to the local post office for home delivery.


13 posted on 01/19/2014 8:17:59 AM PST by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: re_tail20

Our local post office has gone from full time to part time with split window hours: 2 hrs at the start of the day and 2 at the end. Needless to say, the biggest issue is finding postal workers who want to work part time with a 5 hr unpaid “lunch” period.

When I was a kid, our local variety store had a post office. If you needed a package mailed, the store clerk would go over to the post office desk. It was good for the store, the neighborhood and the postal service.


14 posted on 01/19/2014 8:18:51 AM PST by NewHampshireDuo
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To: re_tail20

Union leaders have been visiting Staples stores to meet with managers,...

A little bit of Caponeism?.


15 posted on 01/19/2014 8:19:29 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: re_tail20
This idea of putting U.S. Postal Service outlets in retail stores is a good one, but I'm wondering why they decided to do this with a store chain like Staples.

This concept works well in many parts of Canada, but one of the keys to its success is that Canada Post puts these retail desks in places that are far better suited for this than Staples or Sears: convenience stores. One big advantage is that many of these stores are open 24 hours a day, and while not every postal service is available during all of these hours, it sure beats the 8-5 weekday and 8-12 Saturday hours you find in my local post office.

16 posted on 01/19/2014 8:41:19 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("I've never seen such a conclave of minstrels in my life.")
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To: vette6387

I think he was being sarcastic vette, that’s how I took it anyways.


17 posted on 01/19/2014 8:44:08 AM PST by Bulwyf
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To: Alberta's Child

Probably because “Big Box” stores like Staples have more lobbying power than convenience stores. But if this goes far enough, Im betting they will eventually get around to convenience stores.


18 posted on 01/19/2014 8:47:36 AM PST by re_tail20
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To: re_tail20
It worked well when Sam Drucker ran it in Hooterville . . .


19 posted on 01/19/2014 9:33:57 AM PST by Petruchio (Democrats are like Slinkies... Not good for anything, but it's fun pushing 'em down the stairs.)
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To: Alberta's Child

My guess is that they chose Staples to simply get their nose in the door of a nationwide retailer somewhat on the quiet, so as not to rock the union boat more than needed.

Wait until they stike a deal with WalMart. By then it’s going to be too late for the union thugs.


20 posted on 01/19/2014 10:21:58 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (Over production, one of the top 5 worries for the American Farmer every year.)
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To: Balding_Eagle

I can see them unionizing Staples and watching the whole enterprise go down the tubes in 18 months.

That’s a very competitive segment of retail.


21 posted on 01/19/2014 10:26:39 AM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: Bulwyf

“I think he was being sarcastic vette, that’s how I took it anyways.”

Well if so, I apologize. But it needed a Sark tag. I get pi$$ed off every time I go into the post office. It’s like they all know that they are “a protected class,” and they go out of their way to let you know it! Having the USPS go out of business, that is have it absorbed by private enterprise, would be a very good thing. We would still have to give them their “retirement” but at least the bleeding would be stopping and we would not have to put up with their insufferable attitude. The USPS Is like Detroit. At one time, they had almost a million “employees,” now they are down to less than half of that number and they really need to can another 200,000.


22 posted on 01/19/2014 10:47:15 AM PST by vette6387
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To: nascarnation

Since I hate Staples, I’m having a problem seeing the downside of your scenerio.

Maybe I’d get a decent office supply store nearby.


23 posted on 01/19/2014 11:08:41 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (Over production, one of the top 5 worries for the American Farmer every year.)
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To: Balding_Eagle

A deal with Walmart will be huge. The post office should do that. There is a lot of potential.


24 posted on 01/19/2014 11:19:56 AM PST by moviefan8
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To: vette6387

The window clerks are a small percentage of the postal workforce. Except for mail delivery, most of the grunt work of the USPS occurs behind the scenes between dusk and dawn and I can assure you from first hand experience that many of those people work very hard and conscientiously.


25 posted on 01/19/2014 3:29:22 PM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

The window clerks are a small percentage of the postal workforce. Except for mail delivery, most of the grunt work of the USPS occurs behind the scenes between dusk and dawn and I can assure you from first hand experience that many of those people work very hard and conscientiously.

_________________________

The postal grunts, particularly the perdiems are the most abused, poorly used, overworked workforce in the States.


26 posted on 01/19/2014 3:32:42 PM PST by Chickensoup (V)
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To: Chickensoup

It’s not a good job to try to grow old in. Those parcels and sacks of mail do not sprout wings and move themselves and there’s always a deadline. Whether USPS, UPS or FedEx, people who do that work have my respect.


27 posted on 01/19/2014 3:43:16 PM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

“I can assure you from first hand experience that many of those people work very hard and conscientiously.”

Yeah, like the one “young Holder’s person” who picked up one of our business utility bills at the USPS Mail Center in Richmond, CA where she worked, cashed one check she had made up for $3,200, and was apprehended at another bank trying to get another $2,000, you me that kind for “conscientious” worker? Thank heaven for an alert bank employee.


28 posted on 01/19/2014 4:12:57 PM PST by vette6387
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To: vette6387

You’ve seemed to have bad luck with your USPS interactions because a Rasmussen poll a few years ago showed that the public generally thinks highly of the USPS. Obviously few of those poll respondents have had the problems you have suffered. But I can imagine that there’s a few badly run postal areas like yours must not reach the general levels of customer satisfaction that led to the favorable response to Rasmussen’s query.


29 posted on 01/19/2014 7:43:34 PM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
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