Nation’s Capital Southern Maryland Area Local CAT Commemorates 1970 Postal Strike

May 1, 2018

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NCSMAL members (L-R) Julio Mercedes, Derrick Williams, Gary Ledford
and James Higginbotham

(This article first appeared in the May-June 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)

The Nation’s Capital Southern Maryland Area Local’s (NCSMAL) CAT coordinated a commemorative day of action on March 19 for the 1970 Great Postal Strike. For the day, participating members wore 2018 Contract Campaign or other APWU gear.

Current Operating Services members James Higginbotham and Gary Ledford both recalled how, “it seemed like the entire country shutdown,” during the strike. These memories are a testament to the strength of dedicated, organized postal workers who, at great risk to their careers, illegally went out on strike.

Reinvigorating that level of dedication and energy in our membership today is one of the NCSMAL CAT’s goals. “So many are unaware of the sacrifices workers made back in 1970 to secure bargaining rights for all postal employees,” NCSMAL President Dena Briscoe said, adding that she hopes this demonstration inspires others to get involved.

The NCSMAL CAT reached out to community allies, including the Democratic Socialists of America’s Metropolitan DC chapter, who supported the commemoration.

The NCSMAL CAT said they are looking forward to initiating future actions such as this to build solidarity among the membership. Member involvement “is important in getting the best contract we can,” said NCSMAL Executive Vice President Ray Robinson.

CATs in Action

The Manchester (NH) Area Local’s first Contract Action Team meeting.
Members of the Boston Metro Area Local were also in attendance.

The Dallas Area Local CAT called its members to action! To publicize this, the union bulletin board was redesigned to get members Fired Up & Ready to Go! The contract negotiation process affects all workers, and therefore the need to keep members informed of important events and actions is vital. (L-R) Dallas Area Local steward Margarite Jinadu, Northern Texas CAT Coordinator Katina Range, Dallas Area Local Vice President & CAT Coordinator Charles Tillman and Dallas Area Local steward LaShun Daniels.


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