42 years ago this weekend: Following a series of dramatic failures in communication and negotiation between letter carriers, Congress and the White House, members of NALC’s New York City Branch 36 voted on March 17, 1970 to go on strike.
The illegal work stoppage spread quickly through the metropolitan area, then to cities and towns throughout America. By March 23, there were almost 250,000 postal employees on strike.
By April 2, NALC had achieved an agreement that included a pay raise and collective bargaining with binding arbitration. Postal reorganization became reality on August 12, 1970, with a law that created the U.S. Postal Service and gave NALC and other postal unions the right to bargain collectively over wages, hours and working conditions.