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Union protests postal counters in Staples stores

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Postal workers plan demonstrations at two suburban Staples Inc. stores as part of union protests in 27 states Thursday against the opening of postal counters staffed by Staples employees.

Last year, Staples office supply stores began providing postal services under a pilot program that now includes some 80 stores. The American Postal Workers Union objects because the program replaces well-paid union workers with low-wage nonunion workers. A union website listed stores in Hillside and Schaumburg as protest sites.

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.

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