A Rare Win For The Unions? Staples Abandons Postal Service Trial

The labor movement hasn’t had the best 2014 so far, with a bruising defeat for the UAW in its attempts to organize auto workers in the South, and an ominous Supreme Court ruling for public sector unions. But today, the American Postal Workers Union and its allies seem to be making progress in an important battle.

14-078-staples-nda-140424The APWU has long opposed a trial program, which began in the fall of 2013, to offer postal services at Staples stores. The program, the union said, would undermine the role of post offices and shift postal worker jobs to lower paid and less experienced Staples retail staff. In April, it called on other unions to join it in boycotting Staples in protest of the program.

APWU_AFT_conventionAnd on Monday, days after the 1.6 million member American Federation of Teachers said it would join the boycott, Staples and the USPS told the WSJ the pilot program would be discontinued. The 82 Staples outlets offering postal services will shift to the more established Post Office Approved Shipper program already available in thousands of retail outlets across the country.

“Staples will continue to explore and test products and services that meet our customers’ needs,” Staples VP of  Global Communications Kirk Saville said. The company declined to comment on whether opposition from unions played a part in the decision. A USPS spokeswoman also declined to comment on the role of union pressure. “We respect their right to their opinion,” she said. “This decision is all about expanding service to our customers.”

The postal union isn’t declaring victory just yet. A statement from APWU president Mark Dimondstein called the USPS and Staples announcements a “ruse”, and said the discontinuation of the pilot program doesn’t go far enough. The company should stop offering postal services altogether, he said.

But while the union has yet to call its campaign a success, it said the boycott is getting results. “This attempt at trickery shows that the ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ movement is having an effect,” Mr. Dimondstein said. “We intend to keep up the pressure until Staples gets out of the mail business.”

via A Rare Win For The Unions? Staples Abandons Postal Service Trial – Corporate Intelligence – WSJ.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *