Unions protest Postal Service retail centers in Staples stores

Postmaster says decision based on customer service

WASHINGTON - The opening of Postal Service retail centers in dozens of Staples stores around the country is being met with threats of protests and boycotts by the agency's unions.

The new retail outlets are staffed by Staples employees, not postal workers.

Labor officials say that move replaces good-paying union jobs with low-wage, nonunion workers.

The average postal clerk earns about $25 an hour, according to the union, plus a generous package of health and retirement benefits. The Staples post office counters are run by nonunion workers often making little more than the minimum wage.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says the program has nothing to do with privatization and everything to do with customer service.

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