- U.S. postal strike of 1970
The U.S. postal strike of 1970 was a groundbreaking two-week strike by federal postal workers in March
1970. President Richard Nixoncalled out the United States armed forces and the National Guard in an attempt to distribute the mail and break the strike.
The strike led directly to passage of the
Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, which modernized the postal service and provided for collective bargainingfor postal workers.
Causes of the strike
At the time, postal workers were not permitted by law to engage in collective bargaining. Postal workers felt wages were very low, benefits poor and working conditions unhealthy and unsafe. The U.S. Post Office Department's management was outdated and, according to workers, haphazard. Informal attempts by workers to obtain higher pay and better working conditions had proven fruitless.
The strike began on
March 18, 1970. More than 210,000 United States Post Office Department workers were eventually involved, although initially the strike affected only workers in New York City.
President Nixon appeared on national television and ordered the employees back to work, but his address only stiffened the resolve of the existing strikers and angered workers in other 671 locations in other cities into walking out as well. Workers in other government agencies also announced they would strike if Nixon pursued legal action against the postal employees.
The strike crippled the nation's mail system, disrupting delivery of pension and welfare checks, tax refunds, census forms, and draft notices. Businesses hired planes and trucks to deliver publications and letters.
Nixon spoke to the nation again on
March 25and ordered 24,000 Army, National Guard, Army Reserve, Air National Guard, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, and Marine Corps Reserve forces to begin distributing the mail. But the military proved ineffective at the task. ["APWU History," American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO; William Gardner Bell, "Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1970," 1973.]
Negotiations, in which
United States Secretary of Labor William Usery, Jr.played a key role, resolved the postal strike in just two weeks.
Postal unions, Nixon administration officials and Congressional aides not only negotiated a contract which gave the unions most of what they wanted, but which also established a legislative framework which led to the
Postal Reorganization Act of 1970.
Under the act, postal unions also won the right to negotiate on wages, benefits and working conditions. ["The Strike That Stunned the Country," "Time," March 30, 1970.]
July 1, 1971, five federal postal unions merged to form the American Postal Workers Union, the largest postal workers union in the world. ["APWU History," American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO.]
*"APWU History," American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO. [http://www.apwu.org/about/history.htm] Accessed December 5, 2006.
*Bell, William Gardner, ed. "II. Civil Disturbance and Emergency Operations." In "Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1970." Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, United States Army, 1973. [http://www.army.mil/cmh/books/DAHSUM/1970/chII.htm]
*"Chapter 7: Nixon and Ford Administrations, 1969-1977," Brief History of DOL, U.S. Dept. of Labor. [http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/dolchp07.htm] Accessed December 5, 2006.
* [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,942202-1,00.html "The Strike That Stunned the Country." "Time." March 30, 1970.]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Postal strike — The term postal strike or mail strike may refer to: U.S. Postal Service strike of 1970 1971 United Kingdom postal workers strike 1988 United Kingdom postal workers strike 2007 Royal Mail industrial disputes 2009 Royal Mail industrial disputes… … Wikipedia
Postal Reorganization Act — The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 abolished the United States Post Office Department, a part of the cabinet, and created the United States Postal Service, a corporation like independent agency with an official monopoly on the delivery of mail … Wikipedia
1970 — This article is about the year 1970. Millennium: 2nd millennium Centuries: 19th century – 20th century – 21st century Decades: 1940s 1950s 1960s – 1970s – 1980s … Wikipedia
Strike action — Female tailors on strike. New York City, February, 1910 … Wikipedia
American Postal Workers Union — Infobox Union| name= APWU country= United States affiliation= AFL CIO, UNI members= 330,000 full name= American Postal Workers Union native name= founded= July 1, 1971 current= head= dissolved date= dissolved state= merged into= office=… … Wikipedia
Canadian Union of Postal Workers — Infobox Union name= Canadian Union of Postal Workers country= Canada affiliation= CLC members= 54,000 (2006)ref|members full name= Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) native name= founded= 1965 current= head= dissolved date= dissolved state=… … Wikipedia
Chronology of Provisional Irish Republican Army actions (1970-1979) — This is a chronology of activities by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) from 1970 to 1979. For actions after this period see Chronology of Provisional Irish Republican Army actions. Incidents resulting in at least three deaths are… … Wikipedia
Postage stamps and postal history of the Comoros — The postage stamps and postal history of the Comoro Islands is an overview of the postage stamps and postal history of the Comoro Islands, an Indian Ocean archipelago located on the south east side of Africa.The postal service was linked to… … Wikipedia
6th Communications Battalion — Infobox Military Unit unit name= 6th Communications Battalion caption= 6th Comm s insignia dates= *May 15, 1957 present country= United States allegiance= branch= USMC type= Logistics role= size= command structure= 4th Marine Logistics Group… … Wikipedia
William Usery, Jr. — administration.Although Willie is his birth name, official sources often mistakenly call him William. For much of his life, Usery was known as W.J., although most associates call him Bill. Early life and military serviceUsery was born in Hardwick … Wikipedia