Carriers in a Common Cause
Letter carriers were the first postal workers to form their own union. From its founding in Milwaukee in 1889, the National Association of Letter Carriers has taken a different path from many other unions, but a path no less spirited and intense.
As employees of the U.S. government, letter carriers have balanced their demands for decent pay, benefits and working conditions with their allegiance to serving the public. On the other hand, the fact that letter carriers all do the same job for a single employer led to unusually strong unity and coherence.
From that humble beginning in Milwaukee, the NALC has grown to an organization of nearly 200,000 active members with legal right to bargain collectively on their behalf. Its members, including retirees (who are allowed to continue as full members), are fiercely proud of their union’s history.
Carriers in a Common Cause is the NALC’s official history. It tells the story of the struggle by letter carriers starting at the birth of the Postal Service in 1775 to today. The whole book, in PDF format, is available below, along with each chapter. You can order a copy from the NALC Store.
Be sure also to check out the video below, “125 Years of Delivering for America,” a documentary prepared for the 2014 NALC Convention that celebrates the history of the National Association of Letter Carriers.
Carriers in a Common Cause (30MB)
- 1775-1862: The Early Days of the Republic
- 1863-1888: The Modern Era Begins
- 1889-1901: The NALC Is Born
- 1902-1912: The Reign of Terror
- 1913-1920: The NALC vs. the PMG
- 1921-1928: The Dawn of a New Day
- 1929-1949: The Great Depression
- 1950-1960: April Is the Cruelest Month
- 1970: A Strike Is Called
- 1971-1978: In the Aftermath ofVictory 83
- 1979-1989: On the Cutting Edge of Change
- 1990-2002 Facing Revolutionary Change
- 2003-2012: Meeting the Challenges of a Digital Age