It’s unusual for a challenger to unseat an incumbent president in the postal workers’ union election, but Mark Dimondstein did exactly that. The onetime postal clerk from Greensboro, N.C., ousted former American Postal Workers Union President Cliff Guffey by a comfortable margin in October’s vote, and now he wants to build public support for his effort to thwart U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s plan to downsize and reform the U.S. Postal Service.
The long grind of postal decline—the system has lost has more than 25 percent of its volume since 2008—has prompted Donahoe to seek new sales by opening mail centers inside Staples (SPLS) stores, among other changes. But the Staples outposts wouldn’t be staffed by union members. Dimondstein is plotting a “national day of action” on April 24 in a bid to scuttle the plan. Bloomberg Businessweek spoke with the new postal union chief recently about his opposition to expanded retail partnerships and the future of the post office. Here’s an edited and condensed version of our discussion: