Labor Struggle in the Post Office: From Selective Lobbying to Collective Bargaining

By John Walsh; Garth Mangum | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
THE STORM

Mrs. Margaret Lathrop of Minneapolis set off to walk the four blocks from her home to the post office on a chilly and rainy March morning in 1970. She carried an umbrella in her right hand and cradled a package under her left arm. When she arrived at the post office, she was surprised to see that there was no line and no clerks were at the desk. She tried the door. Since it opened, she walked in. A man appeared from the rear and approached the counter. Mrs. Lathrop put her package on the counter and requested the necessary stamps. The man behind the counter told her that he could not accept the package. "The Post Office is closed," he said. "There is a strike." Mrs. Lathrop looked at him blankly. "A strike?" she said, "but these are cookies for my son in Vietnam!" When her package was still refused, she shook her head in stunned disbelief.

At a Wisconsin post office, a man brought in several reels of film to be mailed to Madison. The clerk explained that such mail was embargoed. "You can't do that!" the customer exclaimed. "This is the United States Post Office!" And he dumped the containers on the counter and walked out.

A group of Brooklyn, New York letter carriers drafted a petition asking their Chicago colleagues to join the walkout, only to realize that they had no way to mail it. Not wanting to scab by sending a telegram, they decided they would keep the letter for the duration.

-13-

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Labor Struggle in the Post Office: From Selective Lobbying to Collective Bargaining
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Photo Credits x
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Preface xv
  • Part I- The Strike That Shook the Nation 1
  • Chapter 1- Thunder Before the Storm 3
  • Chapter 2- The Storm 13
  • Part II- The Long, Hard Haul 41
  • Chapter 4- The Struggle 43
  • Chapter 5- From Repression to Cooperation 71
  • Part III- The Era of Collective Bargaining 95
  • Chapter 6- The First Decade 97
  • Chapter 7- Enter Moe Biller 141
  • Chapter 8- The Regime Settles In 187
  • Chapter 9- The Future 233
  • Notes 247
  • Subject Index 265
  • Appendix 269
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