Photos: Unions protest Postal Service’s deal with Staples

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Postal unions and other labor groups on Thursday demonstrated at more than 50 locations across the nation to protest a U.S. Postal Service deal that allows Staples stores to operate USPS retail counters staffed by the office-supply chain’s employees.

Critics say the plan amounts to a move toward privatization of post-office work, most of which is currently handled by union-affiliated Postal Service employees. They also say the arrangement promotes low-wage jobs and jeopardizes mail security.

USPS officials have defended the partnership, saying it will bring much-needed revenue to an agency that has experienced a severe decline in first-class mail volume compared to previous decades.

MORE: Unions protest Postal Service deal with Staples 

Below are some photos of Thursday’s protest participants, who banged on drums and buckets, marched through the streets, chanted “U.S. mail is not for sale,” and waved signs reading “Stop Staples.” The demonstrations took place in a broad range of cities, from New York and the District of Columbia in the East to Los Angeles and San Francisco on the West Coast.


U.S. Postal Service employee Detra Parker chants during a protest outside a Staples store, Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Atlanta. Thousands of postal workers picketed outside Staples stores nationwide Thursday to protest a pilot program that allows the office supply chain to handle U.S. mail. The American Postal Workers Union fears layoffs and post office closings and says that unlike retail workers, postal workers “have taken an oath to protect the sanctity of the mail.” (David Goldman / AP)

Members of the American Postal Workers Union gather in front of a post office to protest a recent deal made by the United States Postal Service with office supply chain Staples in New York on April 2014. The unions are against the deal, which would establish postal services in Staples stores, because they believe it will jeopardize safe postal service for customers and jobs that provide a living wage to workers. (Justin Lane / EPA)

 


National leaders and local members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) gather at Farragut Square in Washington, D.C., to protest against the USPS-Staples deal. (Marlon Correa / Washington Post).

National leaders and local members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) make their way from Farragut Square to a Staples’ store in N.W. D.C., to protest against the USPS-Staples deal. (Marlon Correa / Washington Post).

National leaders and local members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) make their way from Farragut Square to a Staples’ store in N.W. D.C., to protest against the USPS-Staples deal that established postal counters in more than 80 Staples stores in four geographic areas. (Marlon Correa / Washington Post)

Peter Menge, along with national leaders and local members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) make their way from Farragut Square to a Staples’ store in N.W. D.C., to protest against the USPS-Staples deal. (Marlon Correa / Washington Post).

National leaders and local members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) protest in front of a Staples’ store on 19th Street & L Street N.W. against the USPS-Staples deal. (Marlon Correa / Washington Post).

U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-Calif.) joins U.S. Post Office employees during a protest outside a Staples store, Thursday, April 24, 2014, in downtown Los Angeles. Postal workers around the country protested in front of Staples stores on Thursday, objecting to the U.S. Postal Service’s pilot program to open counters in stores, staffed with retail employees. (Damian Dovarganes / AP)

U.S. Postal employee LeRoy Lavender uses a bullhorn to chant to passing motorists during a protest outside a Staples store, Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Atlanta. Thousands of postal workers picketed outside Staples stores nationwide Thursday to protest a pilot program that allows the office supply chain to handle U.S. mail. (David Goldman / AP)

Postal workers picket in front of a Staples store Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Concord, N.H. Postal workers around the country protested in front of Staples stores, objecting to the U.S. Postal Service’s pilot program to open counters in stores, staffed with retail employees. (Jim Cole / AP)

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Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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