By Jim Melwert
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Postal workers gathered outside the distribution center in Northeast Philadelphia Thursday morning as part of a nationwide protest of a move by the United States Postal Service to open service counters in Staples office supply stores.
Those desks at Staples will sell mail services like stamps and package deliveries.
At the distribution center in the Northeast, and at Staples stores around the country, postal workers are chanting things like “US Mail is not for sale”.
Political director with the Philadelphia local of the American Postal Workers Union, Joe Quinlan, says they fear this is a step towards privatization.
“They’re going to replace the career postal worker with high turnover minimum wage poorly trained individuals who don’t have the same degree of commitment.”
The USPS disputes that, saying this is not about privatization, but instead it’s a way to grow their services and to increase business.
Union leaders say they’re not against windows or desks in Staples stores, but those desks should be staffed by uniformed, trained postal workers.