The U.S. Postal Service is continuing its campaign of gradual privatization, this time with an expansion of the Sunday delivery program it cooked up with Amazon.com http://investorplace.com/2014/07/amzn-amazon-sunday-deliveries/#.U86vF4Xb5_M.
The online marketing powerhouse wants to move to at least 15 cities a program it started last year in which it uses part-time USPS employees to deliver packages on Sunday.
Oh great, some might say. In this world of Twitter and nanosecond-long gratification, the old lumbering postal service can actually do something quick.
Perhaps the most pernicious aspects of this Amazon venture are indeed the postal service’s exclusive reliance on part-time workers who lack full benefits of union membership.
As its past practices suggest, Amazon is moving full steam ahead in its efforts to dominate in whatever it does http://www.geekwire.com/2014/amazon-getting-packages-sunday-via-u-s-postal-service/.
After all, the Seattle-based company started out years ago with marketing books and soon jumped into offering just about everything else it seems. Who knows how far Amazon’s partnership with the postal service will go?
The USPS’s Amazon plan actually preceded its efforts to set up mini-post offices in stores of office supplies giant Staples. This venture was, at least temporarily, shut down earlier this month when the United Federation of Teachers and many other labor groups protested and decided to boycott the chain, which naturally depends heavily on selling school supplies. Especially at this time of year and in an environment where many educators have to buy their own school supplies because underfunded schools can’t afford to.
But don’t think for a minute that the USPS is quitting its long-term efforts to shed employees, post offices and distribution facilities across the country that it began in 2011 and had actually started years earlier, all in the name of improving “productivity.”
Also remember that a large well-funded corporation like Staples isn’t gonna just give up on trying to grab a potentially lucrative new source of revenue.
Can what’s left of organized labor actually drive a wedge into the grand plans of the USPS and many members of Congress to weaken, if not destroy our public postal service?
Like anything involving labor doing so is probably gonna take a long time and require overcoming mountains of opposition.