Union protest planned locally over Postal Service 'privatization'

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."

— Bay City News Service


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Posted by Ralph Kramden
a resident of Danville
on Apr 10, 2014 at 7:31 am

The postal service loses BILLIONS every year, due in large part to labor costs, and the union wants to waste its time protesting the company's attempt to cut costs and stay in business. Do they not remember Detroit and the auto industry??

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Posted by Rob Jamison
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 10, 2014 at 8:05 am

This is great news! Getting unions OUT of anything is excellent. Unions have outlived any usefulness and are now related to open thuggery and organized crime. Hope there are many arrests of these mindless gov idiots.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kate Martindale
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 10, 2014 at 10:02 am

The unions like SEIU etc were behind the civil unrest of Occupy Wall St etc. They have lost all credibility. Throw them all out.

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Posted by Daniel
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 10, 2014 at 10:46 am

The Post Office is not losing money. It is running pretty darn well. The CEO's of FedEx and other delivery providers what to breakdown the USPS and cherry-pick all the profitable urban locals to service. That leaves a big portion of our country wondering how they'll get mail.
The false rhetoric about pension liability is a canard, the USPS is being held to a higher standard as a means to justify terminating the service.
Bash the unions all you want, they've earned it. Think twice before endorsing shutting down the postal service. We will miss them when they're gone.

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Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on Apr 10, 2014 at 10:59 am

Ralph, Rob and Kate,

Your targets are much too low on the horizon for inducing a change of public opinion on bargaining unit organizations. I encourage that if you have any offspring - youthful or adult - have them go into their closets and remove all UNION memorabilia and/or replica uniforms. Those popular items typically include such things as MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL jerseys, hats and even posters. I believe that professional tennis has yet to unionize. They are considering it however. You may want to make it your primary entertainment option that would allow you all to maintain a staunch angst against UNIONIZED workplaces. Oh BTW, virtually all major theatrical productions (cinematic, broadcast and live) including lovable things like Disney should probable get on that 'angst' list as well. Public access cable TV or college radio stations may be alternatives worthy of consideration.

Just remember, if you watch, cheer or root - you may actually be a closet supporter….

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ava
a resident of Blackhawk
on Apr 10, 2014 at 11:05 am

Shut them all down--but this time how about investigating Dianne Feinstein and how her hubby got the exclusive sale of over 50 post offices!! also time to investigate Elijah Cummins and his collusion with Lois Lerner on targeting Americans with the wrath of the IRS

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Apr 10, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Speak for yourself Ava. Some of us aren't stupid enough to believe in the myth of internet "security" where paying bills and online banking is concerned.
The Postal retirement obligations are a big strain, there is no denying that. But without unions, the U.S. would never have had a sizable middle class, and their decline is a major reason (along with corporate off-shoring) why the middle class is disappearing.
For you ignorant con's who think the U.S. will be such a wonderful place with a ratio of 2% ultra-wealthy tax dodgers/98% minimum wage McWorkers, maybe the lot of you better go spend some real time in a country where that is already the situation. You need go no further than Mexico City, or any large Latin American population center. Because in those places the wealthy surround themselves with tall walls and security gates, and in some instances employ body guards. They live in nothing less than a prison of their own making.
Or, better yet, study up on some of the mob justice that was visited upon the robber barons of old. I think it makes for enjoyable reading, but you might not care for it as much as I do.

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