By TIM ROWDEN
Downtown St. Louis – Postal Workers and Letter Carriers rallied at the Downtown Post office and marched to Busch Stadium April 27 to protest a risky “sweetheart deal” that would contract out Postal Service work to Staples locations.
Fred Wolfmeyer, President of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 8 said the USPS plan contracting out to Staples would compromise the quality, security and reliability that Americans expect and deserve in the handling of their mail.
“It is outrageous that an important public asset is being handed over to a struggling private company with no commitment to serve the American public,” Wolfmeyer said. “People are rightfully concerned about this risky scheme and we’re here to make sure St. Louisans know what’s at stake.”
The outsourcing plan has already been implemented in about 80 stores on the east and west coasts, Wolfmeyer said.
“We take an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and the sanctity of the U.S. mail,” Wolfmeyer said. “Their employees do not. They’re not subject to the same background checks as postal employees are.”
Research shows that consumers hold postal employees in high regard and are skeptical about the Staples deal, reports InfoTrends in a recent report for the USPS Inspector General.
Many postal customers, the firm reports, “were uncomfortable with co-location of Post Offices not staffed by USPS employees, such as with the Postal Service’s recent partnership with Staples stores.”
More than two dozen protests were held last week by postal workers and community allies.
The St. Louis rally involved Local 8 and the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 343.