Postal Service privatization at Staples could cause dispute

By KBJR News 1

Postal Service privatization at Staples could cause dispute

July 14, 2014 Updated Jul 14, 2014 at 12:57 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Labor officials say putting postal service in Staples stores is a move to privatize a public institution and a threat to middle-class jobs.

Twin Cities business agents say a no-bid deal between the U.S. Postal Service and the troubled big-box office supply store chain cuts costs by shifting work to low-paid Staples employees.

Officials say that the Postal Service is the highest-rated government agency for satisfaction, security and reliability, and employees must pass FBI background checks. Postal workers take an oath to protect the "sanctity of the mail," which is enforced by laws that wouldn't be binding at a Staples store.

Records indicate 25% of postal employees are veterans, which is one of the highest rates of any profession.

Staples officials say the deal brings traffic into stores hit by declining sales of paper and printing products, while the Postal Service says it's also battling the rise of electronic communications.