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March 18, 1970: American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO


By jimstaro - Posted on 19 March 2011

My father was a hard working postal worker, then called a postal clerk who sorted the mail. Up till this strike he was making less take home than I started making working construction till I went into the service. He did have some benefits and a pension plan, I didn't. After the strike they started making a more comfortable wage as well as the postal service started automating, as they advanced they gave schooling in the newer technologies. He retired some years later and they lived comfortably on a decent pension for his hard work of many years, a pension he contributed to. Also around this time companies, turning into corporations, were axing older workers as they were approaching retirement age, this continued as the safety nets for dedicated hard working folks were marginalized. leaving them out of any and all pensions they had already contributed into and living off lower waged jobs then Social Security.

The first strike against the U.S. government and the first mass work stoppage in the 195-year history of the Postal Service began with a walkout of letter carriers in Brooklyn and Manhattan who were demanding better wages. Ultimately, 210,000 (in 30 cities) of the nation's 750,000 postal employees participated in the wildcat strike. With mail service virtually paralyzed in New York, Detroit, and Philadelphia, Pres. Nixon declared a state of national emergency and assigned military units to New York City post offices. The stand-off ended one week later.
Congress voted a six percent raise for the workers retroactive to December.

More including a video about the strike

As to myself and the construction trades. After the service I went back into the industry, developed more skills in many of the trades as well as the heavy investments into the tools needed and worked as our wages stagnated with few benefits till forced into early retirement with the collapse we saw coming a few years before it hit.

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