Postal workers plan protests in 27 states Thursday against the opening of postal counters in Staples stores that are staffed with Staples employees.
Rallies are scheduled at two locations in the Kansas City area, according to the American Postal Workers Union. One is outside the Staples at 8450 N.W. Prairie View Road in the Zona Rosa shopping center in Kansas City, and the other is at the Staples at 11880 W. 95th St. in Overland Park.
Last year, Staples office supply stores began providing postal services under a pilot program that now includes 80 stores. The postal workers union objects because the program replaces well-paid union workers with low-wage non-union workers.
The union says that could lead to layoffs and the closing of post offices. In a statement, the union said postal workers “have taken an oath to protect the sanctity of the mail,” unlike poorly trained retail workers. The union wants the counters staffed by uniformed postal workers.
The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service has been working to form partnerships with private companies as it tries to cut costs and boost revenues.