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NALC Office of the President: J. Joseph Vacca Records

Identifier: LR001914

Scope and Content

A large portion of the material contained in the President Vacca Collection is reflective of the administrative duties of the office of the president. Records include Executive Council minutes and reports, financial records of the Nalcrest Foundation and the NALC Health Benefit Plan, the Annuity Trust Fund, plus convention materials and responses to editorials—mostly critical—from across the country, as well as correspondence and communication from states and branches. These records also contain constitutional rulings by the Committee of Laws and information relating to the NALC national constitution, as well as records documenting charges against state, local and national officers that were filed and/or processed during Vacca’s term of office.

Important subjects covered in this collection are: American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations Equal Opportunity and Full Employment Act of 1976 Insurance Plans Mail Sorting Conventions, National and State National Labor Relations Act National Labor Relations Board Postal Reorganization and Salary Adjustment Act of 1970 Postal Service Strikes Technology United States Postal Service Wildcat Strikes

Important correspondents in this collection are: Andrews, Emmett Bailar, Benjamin F. Bolger, William F. Conway, James V. P. Harvey, Paul Healy, James J. Johnson, Lonnie Ketchum, William M. Meany, George Miller, Lester F. Ruddock, Andrew E. Sendak, Theodore L. Tinsley, Thomas A. Wilson, Charles
Series Description: Series I: Subject Files, 1962-1979 Materials in this series include correspondence, editorial responses, convention committee files, Executive Council minutes, NALC building and Nalcrest Foundation records, and files related to the NALC health benefit and MBA retirement insurance plans.

Series II: Charges Against Officers, Agents and Trustees, 1972-1979 Correspondence, investigation reports, and other materials documenting charges issued against NALC branch, state and national officers.

Series III: NALC Constitution, 1976-1979 Subseries A, Articles of the Constitution, 1976-1979 Files in this series contain selected articles of the national NALC Constitution along with related correspondence.

Subseries B, Constitutional Rulings, 1977-1979 Consists primarily of correspondence between Richard P. O’Connell, Chairman of the Laws Section, and branch officers regarding compliance with the national Constitution.

Series IV: State Files, 1975-1979 Files in this series includes correspondence and communication with branch and state offers and national business agents (NBAS), copies of NBA correspondence, grievances, questions, authorizations, and constitutional interpretations.


  • 1966 - 1979
  • Majority of material found within 1976 - 1979


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Copyright to the materials is held by National Association of Letter Carriers. No material in this collection may be photographed or otherwise copied/digitized without written permission from the copyright holder. Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


J. Joseph Vacca was elected national president of NALC in 1976 by delegates at the 50th Biennial Convention in Houston, TX and began his term of office in January of 1977. He succeeded President James H. Rademacher who chose not to run for reelection amid growing dissension within the union.

A native of Cleveland, Vacca entered the Post Office Department in that city in 1948 and soon served as station representative for Branch #40. He quickly rose through the ranks, elected branch president in 1965, national assistant secretary-treasurer in 1968, vice president in 1972, and executive vice president in 1974. In 1976 he ran for the office of president of NALC against Vincent R. Sombrotto, a vocal proponent for change and supporter of the 1970 wildcat strike. Vacca won that election but, upon reaching the president’s office, faced the same dissension and disunity as Rademacher. In 1978 he was defeated in his attempt to win reelection, this time losing the contest to Sombrotto. Mr. Vacca retired in McLean, VA and passed away on November 4, 2003.

During his one term as national president, Vacca led the Postal Labor Negotiating Committee through the 1978 contract negotiations, but the agreement tentatively approved by the negotiating parties was rejected by the rank and file. Amid threats of a walkout, the negotiating parties were forced into mediation and the national contract eventually went through arbitration. Files documenting these unprecedented events, interfiled with the papers of Vice President Francis Conners who was also a party to the 1978 negotiations, can now be found in the NALC Vice President’s Collection.


7 Linear Feet (7 SB)


J. Joseph Vacca was elected the 15th president of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) at the 50th Biennial Convention in 1976, with his official term beginning in January of 1977. Vacca began his career in the Post Office Department at Branch No. 40 in Cleveland in 1948. Moving quickly through the ranks, Vacca served as station representative and branch president before being elected national assistant secretary-treasurer in 1968, vice president in 1972, and executive vice president in 1974. In 1976, Vacca ran for president against Vincent R. Sombrotto, winning the election, but was defeated by Sombrotto in his bid for reelection in 1978.


Arranged in 4 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-3), Series 2 (Box 3), Series 3 (Boxes 3-4) and Series 4 (Boxes 4-7). Folders are arranged alphabetically.


Records from the office of J. Joseph Vacca, the 15th president of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), were originally deposited in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs by NALC in 2001. Another deposit occurred in February of 2007.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in February 2007. An additional deposit occured in February 2007 and the new material has subsequently been incorporated into the collection.
Guide to the NALC Office of the President: J. Joseph Vacca Records
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA