Staples boycott ends with union win


Postal workers and supporters demonstrate against postal privatization at a Staples store in Northeast Portland June 20, 2014.

Postal unions declared victory this month when the United States Post Office notified the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) that the “Approved Shipper” program at roughly 500 Staples stores will be shut down by the end of February 2017.  Late in 2013, USPS set up post offices staffed by Staples employees in 82 Staples stores — a move postal unions called a first step in privatizing the Post Office.

APWU launched a Stop Staples campaign, staging protests at Staples stores throughout the country. The demonstrations were followed by a national Staples boycott. That pressure resulted in USPS ending the mini post office idea, but it didn’t stop it from expanding postal services with Staples through the already existing “Approved Shipper” program.   

The union filed unfair labor practice complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) arguing USPS was improperly subcontracting bargaining unit work to Staples. The NLRB agreed, and on Jan. 4 it ordered the Postal Service to discontinue its retail relationship with Staples.


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