On March 12, a rank-and-file caucus of Branch 36 (Manhattan-Bronx) of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) spearheaded the demand for a branch strike vote. Striking the federal government has been illegal since 1912. But that is exactly what Branch 36 voted to do on March 17. Picket lines went up at midnight all over New York City. Other NALC branches voted to strike, spreading upstate and into New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania; then west to Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado, and California. Together they shut down 671 post offices in dozens of cities and towns across the United States. Clerks, mail handlers, maintenance workers, motor vehicle operators, and other crafts from other postal unions joined what became the largest “wildcat strike ” (one not authorized by a national union) in American labor history. Over 200,000 postal workers struck for eight days. Despite the inconvenience of a total mail stoppage, strikers enjoyed the support of the majority of Americans. Continue Reading Philip F. Rubio: Who Remembers the Nationwide Postal Wildcat Strike of 1970 (and Why Does That Matter)?
Historian and former US postal worker Philip Rubio on what we lose when post offices close. Continue Reading When the P.O.’s Disappear
Philip F. Rubio, postal worker-turned-history scholar and author of There’s Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice, and Equality, has recently lent his expertise on race issues in government employment and especially the postal service in two very different but equally fascinating news outlets. In a… Continue Reading Philip Rubio comments on black unemployment & the legacy of segregation
We hate to brag. Really, we do. But….UNC Press authors have been raking in the prizes the last few months. Here are our latest award winners–check them out!
The U.S. Postal Service faces an $8.5 million budget shortfall this year. NPR is broadcasting a series of stories about cuts in postal services and facilities and the lives and communities already being affected. One person with great insight into the social history of the USPS is Philip Rubio, author of There’s Always Work at… Continue Reading Philip Rubio hits the airwaves to talk snail mail and the effects of postal cuts on African American postal workers
From Mississippi to Manhattan, I learned that African American postal workers’ decades-long challenge to the post office and postal union status quo–that for years included segregation and discrimination–was a key factor in transforming the post office. Continue Reading A Retired Postal Worker’s Tax Day Recollections