11/17/2016 – On November 8, 2016, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Administrative Law Judge Paul Bogas ruled to uphold all of the charges leveled at the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Staples Approved Shipper program. The APWU initially filed the complaint on November 13, 2014.
The judge ruled the Staples deal was subcontracting within the meaning of Article 32 of the APWU/USPS Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The ruling stated USPS illegally and intentionally ignored its legal obligation under the NLRA to bargain with the APWU over the Staples deal and its effects on members of the union.
A cited internal Postal Service report, dated September 12, 2012, made it clear that the goal of the expansion of it’s “retail partnerships” was about “migrating [the] majority of volume to retail partners (new & existing).” The judge found the USPS failed to inform the union of this report “at any time prior to it being subpoenaed in this litigation.”
“It is clear from the Postal Service’s own documents and testimony the real goal for their ‘Retail Partnership’ program was to eliminate APWU members’ jobs and to close Post Offices,” said President Dimondstein.
Voluminous additional evidence was cited proving postal management hid their true intent, the privatization of postal retail operations, from the union. One document noted a USPS consultant’s question to Brian Code, then head of the USPS retail partnership program. The consultant asked whether they will “decrease [bargaining unit clerks] and will have to shut down P[ost] O[ffice]s to finance the program.” Cole replied, “You are right.”
“It is clear we were right to challenge the Staples deal,” Dimondstein explained. “It was the correct decision to mobilize our members and initiate the Stop Staples campaign and boycott. The campaign continues to be a key part of the battle to maintain the public Postal Service from management’s privatization scheme.
Among other remedies, the decision went on to instruct USPS to “discontinue its retail partnership with Staples.”
“The Postal Service will probably appeal this decision, but we call on them to do the right thing and immediately end the Staples dirty deal,” Dimondstein said. “In the meantime, the Stop Staples campaign and boycott continues full speed ahead! The U.S. Mail is not for sale!”
We will continue to post updates to apwu.org as this situation develops.