Postal Workers picket outside of Scottsbuff Staples - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Postal Workers picket outside of Scottsbuff Staples

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"The U.S.. mail is not for sale."

Those were the chants heard loud and clear in front of the Scottsbluff Staples store Friday afternoon.
Picketers from the Nebraska Postal Workers Union took to the street to protest what they say is the "privatization of U.S.. mail."

They say a recent deal between the U.S.. Postal Service and Staples to open 'postal counters' in more than 80 retail staples stores turns the mail into a private for-profit business.

Protesters say this is a bad move, because these 'postal counters' will be staffed with Staples employees, not U.S.. Postal workers.

Local and state unionizers say the move not only puts postal workers jobs at stake, but it also jeopardizes the integrity of the U.S. mail.
"U.S.. post master wants more access to the mail service, and we're not against that, We say that these workers should be postal workers. When I was hired, they did a background check, I took an oath of office. I took an oath that I would protect the integrity of the mail," said John Morrissey, Nebraska State President for the American Postal Workers Union.
"We are paid well to take care of your mail. Its important to us. Its your mail, and outsourcing to Staples is just not a good idea because its not going to be protected. The sanctity of your mail is going to be compromised," said Local 845 chapter president Paul Schoeneman.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says there are plans to set up 'postal' counters in all 1,500 Staples stores across the nation.

Morrissey says he is worried that the Staples deal will expand into more businesses.

"More businesses will want more access to the retail mail for the post office in their businesses, and that will be the end of the post office."

Brian Sperry, a Regional Spokesman for the U.S.. Postal Service has issued the following statement regarding the protests:

"In direct response to the changing expectations of customers who demand greater convenience and a one-stop shopping experience, the Postal Service launched a pilot program with Staples to provide postal products and services within their retail stores in test markets across the country.Staples is the first enterprise level chain store to participate in the U.S.. Postal Services’ Retail Partner Expansion Program and the next logical step of providing expanded access to postal products and services.

Staples joins more than 65,000 retail partner locations around the country that currently offer a variety of postal products and services, in order to increase access and convenience to customers in locations where they already shop".

The Retail Partner Expansion Program is an opportunity “to grow the business” and has never been an earmark to pave a way to privatization.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. This retail partnership program could be an innovative step towards generating revenue to ensure the long-term viability of the Postal Service."

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