National Association of Letter Carriers
The National Association of Letter Carriers is an American labor union, representing non-rural letter carriers employed by the United States Postal Service. It was founded in 1889; the NALC has 2,500 local branches representing letter carriers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Letter carriers were the first postal workers to form their own union, they had tried to organize a national union at least three times—in 1870 in Washington, DC, in 1877 in New York City, in 1880 again in New York City. Recognizing that these earlier attempts had failed in part due to the expense of convening enough carriers to sustain a national organization, in 1889 the Milwaukee Letter Carriers Association decided to time their call for another national meeting of carriers to coincide with the annual reunion of the Grand Army of the Republic—an organization of Union Army veterans—so that letter carriers who were veterans could take advantage of reduced train fares.
On August 29, 1889, delegates moved unanimously adopting a resolution to form a National Association of Letter Carriers. On the next day, August 30, 1889, they elected William Wood of Detroit as the first president and appointed an Executive Board to coordinate all legislative efforts. NALC had 52 locals, called branches, with 4,600 members in 1890, 335 branches by 1892. In the beginning, the union focused on forcing postmasters to honor federal law mandating an eight-hour day for federal employees. In 1893, the NALC won $3.5 million in back overtime pay. Local postmasters vigorously opposed the union though it did not sponsor strikes. NALC joined the American Federation of Labor in 1917. By the mid-1960s, NALC had 175,000 members in 6,400 local branches; the history of the National Association of Letter Carriers is documented through archival collections at the Walter P. Reuther Library in Detroit, Michigan. Letter carrier morale plummeted during the mid-1960s. A growing sense of militancy developed as carriers and their families in big cities neared the poverty level.
In New York City's Branch 36, a storm of protest erupted when President Richard Nixon provided only a 4.1 percent pay raise in 1969, a figure the NALC deemed unacceptable. Events escalated as the Christmas mail rush neared and Nixon called NALC President James Rademacher to the White House to forge a compromise that tied a pay raise in 1970 to the concept of an independent postal authority to bargain with postal unions; the Nixon-Rademacher agreement incensed letter carriers and when a House committee the following March approved a bill reflecting the Nixon-Rademacher compromise, calls for a strike were shouted in New York's Branch 36 and other branches. Despite being barred from participating in a strike, on March 17, 1970, the votes were counted in Branch 36, a long-threatened strike was approved, 1,555 to 1,055. At 12:01 a.m. on March 18, picket lines created by Branch 36 went up at post offices throughout Manhattan and the Bronx in New York City as letter carriers went on strike. Within two days, more than 200,000 letter carriers and other postal employees across the country had joined the walkout.
Nixon called out 25,000 soldiers to move the mail in New York City. The strike ended after eight days when local NALC leaders assured strikers that an agreement had been reached though their word was premature. Round-the-clock negotiations began and on April 2 a satisfactory agreement was reached, approved by Congress; the NALC Office of the President: James H. Rademacher Records contain archival material related to the strike; the militancy that came out of New York's Branch 36 during the strike changed forever the nature of the NALC. In 1971, a nationwide rank-and-file movement led by Vincent Sombrotto of Branch 36 was formed with goals of giving members the right to vote directly for national union officers and ending a proxy system that had prevented non-incumbents from breaking into the union's power structure. Sombrotto was elected national president in 1978, he moved to enhance the union's lobbying power with Congress and the Executive Branch, as well as the NALC's stature within the trade union movement.
Like most other unions in the United States, the NALC, most of its rank and file, is involved politically and has supported the Democratic Party, although has been critical of Democrats on occasion, such as President Lyndon B. Johnson when he vetoed a postal pay raise in the mid-1960s; the union has supported a number of individual Republican candidates. Prior to the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, the United States Postal Service was a federal executive department under the name Post Office Department, the Postmaster General was member of the Cabinet; the rate of postal pay was set by the Congress by federal law, meaning that the Postal Service and its employees were affected by Congress. The NALC supported the Postal Reorganization Act. NALC's expertise has traditionally been in lobbying than in traditional labor-management relations and collective bargaining. Like all federal agencies under the Taft–Hartley Act, the Postal Service is an "open shop," and no one can be compelled to join the NALC or any other union as a condition of gaining or continuing employment with the government.
Other federal laws prohibit letter carriers, from striking. Nonetheless, over 93 percent of all working letter carriers are members of the NALC and the union is now recognized as the collective bargaining agent for all city carriers; the NALC distinguishes itself from other unions in several ways. For example, membership is voluntary.
A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the United States Postal Service in a system it introduced in 1963. The term ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan; the basic format consists of five digits. An extended ZIP+4 code was introduced in 1983 which includes the five digits of the ZIP Code, followed by a hyphen and four additional digits that reference a more specific location; the term ZIP Code was registered as a servicemark by the U. S. Postal Service, but its registration has since expired; the early history and context of postal codes began with postal district/zone numbers. The United States Post Office Department implemented postal zones for numerous large cities in 1943. For example: The "16" was the number of the postal zone in the specific city. By the early 1960s, a more organized system was needed, non-mandatory five-digit ZIP Codes were introduced nationwide on July 1, 1963; the USPOD issued its Publication 59: Abbreviations for Use with ZIP Code on October 1, 1963, with the list of two-letter state abbreviations which are written with both letters capitalized.
An earlier list in June had proposed capitalized abbreviations ranging from two to five letters. According to Publication 59, the two-letter standard was "based on a maximum 23-position line, because this has been found to be the most universally acceptable line capacity basis for major addressing systems", which would be exceeded by a long city name combined with a multi-letter state abbreviation, such as "Sacramento, Calif." along with the ZIP Code. The abbreviations have remained unchanged, with the exception of Nebraska, changed from NB to NE in 1969 at the request of the Canadian postal administration, to avoid confusion with the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Robert Moon is considered the father of the ZIP Code; the post office only credits Moon with the first three digits of the ZIP Code, which describe the sectional center facility or "sec center." An SCF is a central mail processing facility with those three digits. The fourth and fifth digits, which give a more precise locale within the SCF, were proposed by Henry Bentley Hahn Sr.
The SCF sorts mail to all post offices with those first three digits in their ZIP Codes. The mail is sorted according to the final two digits of the ZIP Code and sent to the corresponding post offices in the early morning. Sectional centers do not deliver mail and are not open to the public, most of their employees work the night shift. Mail picked up at post offices is sent to their own SCF in the afternoon, where the mail is sorted overnight. In the case of large cities, the last two digits coincide with the older postal zone number thus: In 1967, these became mandatory for second- and third-class bulk mailers, the system was soon adopted generally; the United States Post Office used a cartoon character, which it called Mr. ZIP, to promote the use of the ZIP Code, he was depicted with a legend such as "USE ZIP CODE" in the selvage of panes of postage stamps or on the covers of booklet panes of stamps. In 1971 Elmira Star-Gazette reporter Dick Baumbach found out the White House was not using a ZIP Code on its envelopes.
Herb Klein, special assistant to President Nixon, responded by saying the next printing of envelopes would include the ZIP Code. In 1983, the U. S. Postal Service introduced an expanded ZIP Code system that it called ZIP+4 called "plus-four codes", "add-on codes", or "add-ons". A ZIP+4 Code uses the basic five-digit code plus four additional digits to identify a geographic segment within the five-digit delivery area, such as a city block, a group of apartments, an individual high-volume receiver of mail, a post office box, or any other unit that could use an extra identifier to aid in efficient mail sorting and delivery. However, initial attempts to promote universal use of the new format met with public resistance and today the plus-four code is not required. In general, mail is read by a multiline optical character reader that instantly determines the correct ZIP+4 Code from the address—along with the more specific delivery point—and sprays an Intelligent Mail barcode on the face of the mail piece that corresponds to 11 digits—nine for the ZIP+4 Code and two for the delivery point.
For Post Office Boxes, the general rule is. The add-on code is one of the following: the last four digits of the box number, zero plus the last three digits of the box number, or, if the box number consists of fewer than four digits, enough zeros are attached to the front of the box number to produce a four-digit number. However, there is no uniform rule, so the ZIP+4 Code must be looked up individually for each box; the ZIP Code is translated into an Intelligent Mail barcode, printed on the mailpiece to make it easier for automated machines to sort. A barcode can be printed by the sender, it is better to let the post office put one on. In general, the post office uses OCR technology, though in some cases a human might have to read and enter the address. Customers who send bulk mail can get a discount on postage if they have printed the barcode themselves and have presorted the mai
Highway Post Office
The term Highway Post Office refers to brightly colored red and blue buses used to carry mail to multiple areas over wide distances. Due to withdrawal of many Railway Post Office trains from service, the U. S. Post Office Department decided to experiment with distribution of mail on large buses equipped to RPO cars. On February 10, 1941, experimental service started on the Washington, DC & Harrisonburg, Virginia HPO, it was a success from the start, but due to World War II, expansion of the service was delayed for several years. After the war, the service increased with more than 130 routes established between 1948 and 1955; as this service was somewhat enmeshed with the RPO service, its value decreased as RPOs were abolished. The last HPO service to operate in the U. S. was the Cleveland, Ohio, & Cincinnati, Ohio HPO, discontinued in 1974. Railway Mail Service Library Wilking, Clarence; the Railway Mail Service, Railway Mail Service Library, Virginia. Available as an MS Word file at http://www.railwaymailservicelibrary.org/articles/THE_RMS.
Express mail in the United States
The United States Postal Service provides Priority Mail Express for domestic U. S. delivery, offers two international Express Mail services, although only one of them is part of the EMS standard. One is called Priority Mail Express International and the other service is called Global Express Guaranteed; the latter having no relation whatsoever to "EMS" International service as provided by the EMS Cooperative. The USPS Global Express Guaranteed, by which USPS offices act as drop locations for international packages which are handled by FedEx international delivery network. In some countries, import rules for packages received by courier services have different tax brackets and duties than parcels received on the postal system, thus EMS service is preferred over FedEx's co-branded Global Express Guaranteed; the term Priority Mail Express International is confused with their domestic service called Priority Mail Express, a specific classification of mail for domestic accelerated postal delivery within the U.
S. In 2013, the USPS changed the name of the service from "Express Mail International" to "Priority Mail Express International"; this may lead to confusion, as "Priority Mail" is still used, the packaging is similar. Special Delivery, a domestic accelerated local delivery service, was introduced on 3 March 1885 with a fee of 10¢ paid by a Special Delivery stamp, it was transformed into Express Mail, introduced in 1977 after an experimental period that started in 1970, although Special Delivery was not terminated until June 8, 1997. Priority Mail Express is an accelerated domestic mail delivery service operated by the United States Postal Service, it is able to provide overnight delivery to most locations within the continental United States and guaranteed delivery within 2 days. Unlike most other USPS delivery options which provide only delivery confirmation, Express Mail provides accurate, up-to-date tracking information, insurance up to $100. Priority Mail Express delivers 365 days a year, including Saturdays and federal holidays.
Sunday/Holiday delivery incurs a charge of $12.50 in addition to standard rate. Unlike Priority Mail and First Class Package Mail, USPS provides real-time tracking information online and by phone for Priority Mail Express shipments. Global Express Guaranteed service is an international expedited delivery service provided through an alliance with FedEx Corporation, it provides guaranteed, date–definite service from Post Office facilities in the United States to a large number of international destinations. Global Express Guaranteed delivery service is guaranteed to meet the specified service standards or the postage paid may be refunded. For all network destinations, liability insurance is provided for lost or damaged shipments. Other private express carriers guarantee overnight or 2-day delivery by as early as 8:30 or 10:30 AM. Priority Mail Express offers 10:30 AM delivery where available for a $5.00 surcharge. Priority Mail Express conveys other benefits under specific circumstances: U. S. patent applications and related documents transmitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office via USPS Priority Mail Express carry the postmark date as the date of patent priority, so long as each document is mailed along with a signed certificate of mailing bearing the Priority Mail Express tracking number of the mailing label
American Postal Workers Union
The American Postal Workers Union is a labor union in the United States. It represents over 200,000 employees and retirees of the United States Postal Service who belong to the Clerk, Motor Vehicle, Support Services divisions, it represents 2,000 private-sector mail workers. The American Postal Workers Union is working to stop the closing of Post Offices. Due to current economic factors, the USPS is looking to close several local branches and mail processing centers around the nation. Postal workers in the United States first won collective bargaining rights after the U. S. postal strike of 1970. Two organizations of postal clerks emerged in the 1890s, it was too conservative for the AFL, which in 1906 sponsored the National Federation of Post Office Clerks, which soon surpassed the UNAPOC. NFPOC grew from 16,000 members in 1922, to 36,000 in 1932, nearly 50,000 by 1940, it did not engage in strikes, but spent much of its efforts in opposing hostile Congressional legislation. Additional rivals were formed in the 1930s, but the first serious rival was the National Postal Clerks Union that began in 1958.
Merger discussions dragged on for years, until the NFPOC, UNAPOC and others merged in 1961 as the United Federation of Postal Clerks. In 1971 five unions combined into the American Postal Workers Union, they were the United Federation of Postal Clerks, the National Postal Union, the National Association of Post Office and General Service Maintenance Employees, the National Federation of Post Office Motor Vehicle Employees, the National Association of Special Delivery Messengers, with a combined membership of 280,000. On August 20, 2007, the independent National Postal Professional Nurses merged with the APWU; as a result of this merger, the members of the NPPN were granted membership in the Support Services Division of the APWU. The NPPN-APWU represents over 90 occupational health nurses; this 2007 merger was the first merger of any postal unions in the United States since the U. S. postal strike of 1970. On Thursday, July 30, 2009, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted 12-1 in favor of S. 1507, which would provide financial relief to the Postal Service.
An amendment, offered by Sen. Tom Coburn, requiring the arbitrator to take into consideration the financial health of the Postal Service when deciding Postal Union contracts, was added prior to its passage. Sen. Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, Sen. Tom Carper, chairman of the subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government information, Federal Services and International Security, supported the amendment, voted with committee Republicans for its adoption; the American Postal Workers Union, National Postal Mail Handlers Union, the NALC and the NRLCA have all voiced opposition to S. 1507 with its inclusion of the arbitrator amendment. This Association was organized as a fraternal benefit society for railway clerks by five men in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1898; the original name of the association was the National Association of Railway Postal Clerks. The name of the society was changed to Railway Mail Association in 1904, the National Postal Transport Association in 1949.
In 1961 it became the United Federation of Postal Clerks Benefit Association. It adopted its present name in 1972. Membership is open to all members of the American Postal Workers Union who are employed as postal workers. In 1979, there were 23,000 members in 604 local branches. Branch meetings are held concurrently with meetings of the American Postal Workers Union. In addition to insurance benefits, the APW-ABA sponsors blood banks, Boys Scouts troops, conducts drives for community and medical research funds, visits sick and disabled members; the highest authority is the National Convention. Headquarters are in New Hampshire. There is a brief initiation ritual, in which the candidate pledges to support the US constitution, the laws of the society, become acquainted with the history of the society and defend its principles; the candidate pledges "to be considerate to the widow and the orphan. There are no religious elements in the ritual, though the regular order of business includes provisions for an invocation.
In 1979, the American Postal Workers Accident Benefit Association was a member of the National Fraternal Congress of America, however it does not appear on the current list of members of the Congress, now known as the American Fraternal Alliance. United States Postal Service National Association of Letter Carriers National Postal Mail Handlers Union National Rural Letter Carriers' Association Official website Seattle APWU News, from the Labor Press Project "Post-Office Clerks of the United States, United National Association of". New International Encyclopedia. 1905
U.S. Special Delivery (postal service)
U. S. Special Delivery was a postal service paid for with additional postage for urgent letters and postal packets which are delivered in less time than by standard or first class mail service, its meaning is separate from express mail delivery service. It meant that a postal packet was delivered from a post office to the addressee once it arrived at the post office responsible for delivering it, rather than waiting for the next regular delivery to the addressee; the U. S. Post Office in conjunction with the Universal Postal Union established a basis for a special service for speedier delivery of mail for an extra fee beginning in 1885. Special Delivery was at first limited to post offices that operated in townships with populations of 4,000 or more. In 1886 Congress revised Special Delivery service to all U. S. post offices. Special Delivery service was in operation from 1885 to 1997 whereby the letter would be dispatched and directly from the receiving post office to the recipient rather than being put in mail for distribution on the regular delivery route.
In 1885 Congress enacted the use of "a special stamp of the face valuation of ten cents... when attached to a letter, in addition to the lawful postage thereon... shall be regarded as entitling such letter to immediate delivery." The first Special delivery stamp was printed by the American Bank Note Company and issued on October 1, 1885. It could not be used to prepay any other service; the stamp bears the words "Secures immediate delivery at a special delivery office,". In 1886 the Special Delivery service was expanded to all post offices and a new stamp was designed; the revised stamp was identical to the first issue of 1885 but instead bore the statement "Secures immediate delivery at any post office." The release of the revised stamp was delayed by the Post Office until 1888, allowing supplies of the first issue to be sold beforehand. But the usage of such stamps had their drawbacks. Special Delivery only served communities whose population was over 4,000 people and could not guarantee delivery by a specific time.
To be valid the Special Delivery stamp had to be affixed to the envelope along with all other postage and could not be used to prepay regular and airmail postage. Five distinct issues showing the running messenger were made. Beginning in 1902 and continuing for 20 years, Special Delivery messengers were issued bicycles to deliver the mail and correspondingly a stamp was issued that year which depicted a messenger riding a bicycle and delivering the mail. In 1908 a helmet of the god Mercury was used for the design, with the stamp called the Merry Widow issue after a popular opera in which the lead singer wore a large hat; the bicycle design was reinstated and continued with subsequent issues having differences in perforations and watermarks. The series ended in 1922 when a messenger riding a motorcycle was shown, replaced by a truck in 1925. In the following years the truck and motorcycle pictures reappeared as rates changed and various color and perforation varieties were created. In 1954 a design featuring hands passing a letter went into use.
The last image, instituted in 1969, portrayed arrows. Overall philatelists recognize 23 separate issues of special delivery stamps spanning the years 1885 to 1971. In addition, three Airmail Special Delivery stamps were issued in the 1930s, two regular ones and an imperforated issue specially produced by Postmaster General James Farley. In used condition none of the special delivery stamps are scarce. On June 7, 1997, the United States Postal Service terminated Special Delivery mail service which left many unused Special Delivery stamps in circulation that were no longer valid for such postage; the remaining stamps were allowed to be returned to the Post Office for their face value as "services were not rendered". According to the USPS Domestic Mail Manual, this is not possible any more. U. S. Parcel Post stamps of 1912-13 Parcel stamp Postage stamps and postal history of the United States Railway stamp Stamp collecting History of USPS Special Delivery Special Delivery Primer US Special Delivery website multiple articles about Special Delivery
Boat Railway Post Office
Post was transported over water in the United States in the nineteenth and the twentieth century. Route Agents and Railway Post Office clerks were placed on inland boat lines at a early date. By the 1890s the river packets and steamers on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers carried RPO mail units, such as the old Cairo & Memphis, the Vicksburg & New Orleans. Many lakes had this service. In 1902, 82 clerks were serving on 49 boat routes; the last year-round service of this type was in the state of Washington, where the Bellingham & Anacortes lasted until 1950. The longest Boat RPOs operated between New York and San Juan, Puerto Rico, New York and Canal Zone, plus several routes from Seattle, Washington to Alaska ports; these were discontinued at the onset of World War II. Two Boat RPOs outlived their railway route counterparts; the last rail route made its final trip between New York and Washington, DC on June 30, 1977. The Wolfboro & Merrymount RPO lost its Boat RPO status upon its last trip of the season on Lake Winnipesaukee on September 15, 1978.
The title "RPO" was erased when the New Hampshire RPO closed its operating season on September 30, 1978. These two boat routes still carry mail and operate as water-borne rural free delivery routes, but no longer have their distinctive RPO postmark. Wilking, Clarence; the Railway Mail Service, Railway Mail Service Library, Virginia OCLC 30148351. Available as an MS Word file at http://www.railwaymailservicelibrary.org/articles/THE_RMS. DOC.. J. W. Westcott II Mail jumping