Postal Workers Unions Protest Staples Program

Postal workers in cities big and small around the country have fanned out to protest a deal that puts postal services in Staples stores.

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.

Postal workers protested outside of a Staples in Campbell, Calif.,  a community south of San Francisco.

"We protect and honor their mail," said Robery Laney of the American Postal Workers' Union. "These people are not constitutionally sworn to protect their mail. They haven't even taken civil service exams to say they're qualified to work the mail."

In Concord, N.H., more than 100 boisterous workers donned bright blue shirts and lined a busy commercial road near a Staples store.

"Union busting, we say no,'' they chanted, "the Staples deal has got to go.''

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has said the program is designed to meet changing expectations of customers who want more convenience.

It's also an opportunity to grow the business for the postal service, which has been beset by financial woes in recent years.

"We are looking to grow our business and provide customer convenience to both postal products and postal services," Donahoe said. "By locating postal services inside of established businesses, customers save time and in most cases have the convenience of longer hours."

NBC Bay Area's Chase Cain contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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