A union representing postal workers will protest Tuesday afternoon at a local Staples over a pilot program in which employees at the office-supply retailer take packages and sell stamps.
The American Postal Workers Union announced Friday it would be demonstrating at the Staples at 4801 McKnight Road, one of the 82 locations in four regions — including Pittsburgh — where the pilot program is being carried out. The program began in the fall of 2013.
Union officials say they’re concerned about lower-wage retail employees taking over postal jobs in the Pittsburgh, Massachusetts, San Francisco and Atlanta test markets.
“This is a plan to close neighborhood post offices and outsource postal work,” American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein said in a prepared statement. “After driving customers away by reducing hours, postal management will conduct a study of traffic in post offices and find that it’s gone down. Then they’ll claim to have the evidence they need to justify closing post offices.”
But U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Karen Mazurkiewicz said the Staples program is designed to allow its customers to have better access to services on the weekends and evenings. The postal union claimed there are plans to expand the pilot nationwide, but Mazurkiewicz said no decision has been made.
“We’re still in the test stage,” she said.