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Postal workers protest Staples program

Postal workers protest Staples program

POST OFFICE:U.S. Postal employee LeRoy Lavender uses a bullhorn to chant to passing motorist during a protest outside a Staples store, Thursday, April 24, 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. Photo: Associated Press/David Goldman

NEW YORK (AP) — Postal workers are protesting the opening of postal counters in Staples stores that are staffed with retail employees.

Thursday’s protests were held at 50 locations in 27 states, including rallies in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

In Washington, more than 200 people gathered at a Staples, drumming on buckets and holding signs that read: “Stop Staples. The US Mail is Not for Sale.”

Last year, Framingham, Mass.-based Staples Inc. began offering postal services under a pilot program that now includes some 80 stores. The American Postal Workers Union objects, because they say well-paid union workers have been replaced by low-wage nonunion workers.

The union says that could lead to layoffs and post office closings.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says the program is a response to customer demands for convenience.

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