This introductory chapter argues that this strike was a ground-breaking, successful rebellion against the federal government and postal union leadership. Both organized and spontaneous, it was a strike that also helps reveal rank-and-file militancy during that time as something rising, not falling--especially in the growing public sector. Postal labor was vital to the movement of mail, and postal workers were well positioned to wildcat by virtue of being so thoroughly unionized yet forbidden by law to strike. The stage had already been set for upsurge with the 1960s spike in the hiring of African Americans, women, veterans, and young people, and with a leading role played by New York City postal workers. This chapter draws connections between the strike and the resulting Postal Reorganization Act, which subsequently left the U.S. Postal Service vulnerable to subsequent laws and policy measures that harmed the agency’s financial viability.
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