SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The U.S. Postal Service has launched a pilot partnership with Staples that some postal workers believe could be a step towards privatization.

Protesters in San Francisco held signs outside the Staples store on Van Ness Ave. that read, “Stop Staples. The U.S. Mail is not for Sale”

Omar Gonzalez with the American Postal Workers Union said they are upset about the partnership— that extends beyond just selling stamps.

“To have an actual post office inside a store that’s actually serviced by people who are not sworn servants to the American public; that’s what we’re against,” he said.

Postal spokesperson Gus Ruiz said the move is being made to adapt to the demands of customers.

“It’s more convenient for them, they have longer hours and it’s open on weekends. It just makes good business sense,” Ruiz said.

He pointed to data that shows that between 40 and 45 percent of retail transactions already occur away from the post office.

“It allows us to stay in business. It’s not going to affect current employees. No one’s going to get laid off,” he said.

According to Ruiz, retail partnerships are more popular nowadays, like bank branches that are set up in grocery stores.