Inside Higher Ed
October 23rd, 2014
Criticism of Harvard University is coming from an unusual quarter: postal workers.
The American Postal Workers Union is calling for President Drew
Gilpin Faust to resign her seat on office supply store Staples’ board of
directors if she won’t criticize the company.
The attack on Faust, who usually makes news only when she wants to,
is an unlikely extension of the union’s fight with the United States
Postal Service. But Faust is apparently the first sitting Harvard
president to serve on a corporate board.
In particular, the union has rallied around the idea that the postal
service is trying to outsource some of its jobs because of a deal it
struck last year with Staples to offer mail service in the company’s
Under the deal, which has since been scaled back amid union pressure,
Staples employees – not unionized postal workers – would be handling
the letters and packages.
The postal workers' union, which boasts over 200,000 members, argues
that Faust failed to speak out against the plan. That, union President
Mark Dimondstein said, means she is complicit in an effort that could
cost postal workers their well-paid jobs and transfer the work to
relatively low-paid, non-unionized retail workers.