Hundreds of members of the American Postal Workers Union protested outside a Staples in Chicago Tuesday in hopes to keep mini-post offices from opening up inside the business.
The group, which included leaders from the Chicago Teachers Union, gathered outside a Staples at Wabash and Washington in Chicago to “turn up the heat” on their “Don’t Buy Staples” campaign.
The protest comes as postal workers claim the stores finished a pilot program allowing for postal counters to open in more than 80 Staples stores nationwide.
“About a week ago, the USPS and Staples attempted to derail the boycott,” Union President Mark Dimondstein said. “They announced the pilot was over, but admitted that Staples clerks would continue to do the work of uniformed postal workers under a program with a different name. We’ve got news for them: our campaign to stand up for living-wage jobs and quality service for our customers isn’t over until we say it’s over.”
It's not the first time workers have protested the center. Nationwide protests were also held earlier this year after news of the pilot program was first announced.
The workers say the pilot program jeopardizes their jobs and the security of the mail, because the retail counters are staffed by Staples employees, not postal workers.
“We’re not falling for that ruse, and neither are the labor and community allies who have joined with us in this fight,” said Dimondstein. “This campaign will continue so long as the USPS tries to replace experienced, uniformed U.S. postal workers who are accountable to the American people with low-wage, high-turnover employees who have little training and who are not qualified to handle the U.S. Mail.”