American Postal Workers Union Assembles Team of Experts To Oppose Staples-Office Depot Merger

press-release-apwuFor Immediate Release
03/05/2015 – Washington – The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) announced today that the 200,000–member union, with the assistance of the AFL-CIO, has engaged a team of financial advisors, lawyers and economists to challenge the merger between Staples and Office Depot.

The union is urging the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to block a merger that it sees as monopolistic and unlawful. The union also will reach out to members of Congress and state and local officials to raise objections.

“A Staples takeover of Office Depot would lead to fewer choices and higher prices for consumers, especially school students and parents. If approved, the merger also would lead to more store closings and have an adverse effect on workers. This merger is not in the public interest,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.

In a Feb. 11 interview with Buzzfeed, President Obama singled-out Staples for criticism for threatening part-time workers with termination if they worked more than 25 hours a week. The President said, “…when I hear large corporations that make billions of dollars in profits trying to blame our interest in providing health insurance as an excuse for cutting back workers’ wages, shame on them.”

On Feb. 4, when Staples’ plans to acquire Office Depot were first announced, APWU’s Dimondstein outlined the union’s objections. “Staples is an anti-worker corporation and we don’t want to see its reach expanded. We will vigorously oppose this merger. It’s bad for workers and bad for consumers,” he said.

The union’s advisors believe that there are new grounds for opposing this merger beyond the objections first posed in 1996, when federal regulators blocked a Staples/Office Depot merger.

Since January 2014, the American Postal Workers Union and its allies have been staging protests at hundreds of Staples stores opposing the retailer’s deal with the U.S. Postal Service to offer postal services. A boycott of the office-supply store, which began in April, is ongoing.

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