Unionized workers Wednesday afternoon are planning to protest what they call the privatization of the U.S. Postal Service.
According to the American Postal Workers Union, Staples has a deal to operate postal counters at more than 80 of its office-supply stores. They also say the U.S. Postmaster General would like to expand this plan to a total of 1,500 stores.
Last month, Staples announced it will close 225 North American stores in 2015 amid declining sales.
Union President Mark Simondstein said in a statement, "This proves, more than ever that it's a bad idea to turn public services over to a private company that can close stores at will, with no public input and no public comment."
Union representatives also say they object to postal service jobs being performed by non-union employees who do not make a living wage.
Upcoming Bay Area protests against the Staples deal are planned for 4 p.m. Thursday at 2710 Crow Canyon Road in San Ramon, 11 a.m. Friday at 1230 Fitzgerald Drive in Pinole, and 11 a.m. Saturday at 2353 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley and 1725 Airline Highway in Hollister.
"Partnerships such as Staples has nothing to do with privatization, and everything to with expanding our products and services where customers conveniently shop," postal service spokesperson Augustine Ruiz said. "This allows us to place our products and services at counters that our competitors once occupied."
Ruiz said, "The marketplace has changed and we have to change with it. We need to press as many options as possible to reach our customers in every way possible that is convenient for them."