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Post Office workers protest outside Staples
by Kelsie Smith
Irondequoit, N.Y. - Around 100 people rallied outside of the Staples on E. Ridge Road in Irondequoit, Thursday.
It was one of 50 locations across the country where U.S. postal workers gathered in response to a pilot program between Staples and the U.S. Postal Service. This program will open post office counters in stores and staff them with retail employees.
"Anybody that works for the postal service has background checks done on them, they're fingerprinted you know what their background is," said Susan Lewis, Executive Vice President, N.A.L.C., Branch 3 Buffalo, WNY. "At Staples they hire anyone off the street, I'm not saying they're workers aren't any good, but you know what you're getting when you're getting the postal service."
Armed with signs reading "Saving the Middle Class = Priceless," and "Save America's Postal Service" protesters marched along the sidewalk outside of Staples hoping their actions would keep a U.S. Postal Service counter out of Rochester Staples.
"What's going to happen is you're going to have Staples employees taking in mail without asking security questions without asking the appropriate information to make sure the mail is safe," said Ken Montgomery, President of The National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 210.
A spokesperson with Staples wouldn't comment on the workers' concerns, only saying the store is always testing new ways to serve its customers.
The Postmaster General said the Staples program has nothing to do with privatization. Rather, it's a response to the demand for convenience and one-stop shopping; it's also an opportunity to grow business.