June 3, 2014
By Stephanie West
Albany, NY – On the heels of the National AFL-CIO’s endorsement of the American Postal Workers Union’s (APWU) “Don’t Buy Staples” campaign, the New York State AFL-CIO is urging its members, as well as their families, friends, and allies, to boycott the office supply company. The boycott applies to all Staples retail stores in the U.S., Staples.com, Staples Advantage, as well as all Staples branded proprietary products.
The action comes in response to a pilot program between the US Postal Service (USPS) and Staples, which would place postal counters in the company’s stores. The program which is staffed with low-paid, non-union Staples’ employees is a direct assault on postal jobs and quality public postal services.
New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said, “The Staples pilot is part of a larger problem in our economy – a myopic focus on the bottom line, even if it means degraded services and the replacement of family-sustaining careers with low-wage jobs. New Yorkers must stand-up and send a message to Staples and the Postal Service that our mail is too important to entrust to anyone but USPS employees who are accountable to the public and have taken an oath of office.”
Jim Bertolone, President of the Rochester Area APWU Local and a Vice President of the New York State AFL-CIO, said, “The Postmaster General has repeatedly denied that this program is part of an effort to privatize USPS retail operations , but documents management was forced to provide to the NLRB of the secret no-bid deal with Staples state, ‘The pilot will be used to determine if lower costs can be realized with retail partner labor instead of the labor traditionally associated with retail windows at Post Offices.’ This we know is outsourcing and privatization.”