American Postal Workers Union (APWU) is asking federal anti-trust regulators to stop the proposed merger of Office Depot and Staples. If the deal went through, there would be just one major office supply retail chain in the country. There were three before OfficeMax and Office Depot merged in 2013. APWU also opposes the Postal Service’s outsourcing of services at Staples. The nonunion office supply chain pays most of its employees close to minimum wage.
The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and USPS failed to reach an agreement before the expiration of the current contract in May. According to an APWU news bulletin the USPS is insisting on severe cuts in pay and benefits, though progress has been made on many non-economic issues. “Management’s economic demands and proposed changes to the workforce structure were completely unacceptable,” says APWU President Mark Dimondstein.
Among the Postal Service proposals are:
- eliminate of current cost-of-living adjustments.
- Increased employee contribution to healthcare.
- Permanent lower payscale for future career employees with reduced benefits.
- Increased percentage of noncareer employees.
- Weakened layoff protection.
APWU proposals include fair and reasonable wage increases, limits on subcontracting, more career jobs, improvements for Postal Support Employees, limits on excessing, and better service for our customers, explains Dimondstein. The talks will now go to mediation.