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William Burrus Oral History

 Item
Identifier: LOH002207
Collection consists of the interview recording. Over the nearly four-hour-long interview, Burrus ranges on a variety of topics covering his background, postal career, union leadership and significant achievements, changes in postal unions (including APWU) and the postal service over time, and his personal life and views.
The interview can be divided approximately as follows: childhood with parents and siblings in West Virginia, education, military service, entry into the postal service, working conditions and low wages, beginnings of union activity (tape 1); early union activities, shortcomings of early postal unions, details and logistics of postal operations, priorities as a union leader, changing managerial approaches, the 1970 wildcat strike, formation of the APWU, APWU invovlement in political activities, major objectives for the APWU in the present day (tape 2); transition from Moe Biller's presidential administration to his own, financial stewardship, the anthrax crisis, priorities as vice president under Biller such as wage increases and establishment of grievance arbitration process, pride in APWU's single contract and national enforcement, thoughts on APWU's future (tape 3); racial integration of APWU leadership, the general state of American union leadership, importance of APWU's direct elections, family and children, thoughts on his legacy (tape 4).

Dates

  • 2003-01-27

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.

RESTRICTIONS: Due to the personal nature of oral history, the Library prohibits use of the material in any way that infringes on individual right to privacy, or results in libelous statements or slander, in accordance with U.S. law.

Permission to publish or quote must be obtained from the interviewee or interviewee heirs or assigns.

Extent

4 items : (4 Hi8 videotapes)

Abstract

In 2003, Reuther archivist Carrolyn Davis interviewed labor leader William "Bill" Burrus. Burrus served as vice president (1980-2001) and president (2001-2010) of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), and he was the first African American to be directly elected by member vote to the presidency of a national labor union. Collection consists of the interview recording. Over the nearly four-hour-long interview, Burrus ranges on a variety of topics covering his background, postal career, union leadership and significant achievements, changes in postal unions (including APWU) and the postal service over time, and his personal life and views.

History

In 2003, Reuther archivist Carrolyn Davis interviewed labor leader William "Bill" Burrus. Burrus served as vice president (1980-2001) and president (2001-2010) of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), and he was the first African American to be directly elected by member vote to the presidency of a national labor union.

Acquisition

Donated by Carrolyn Davis, Walter P. Reuther Library, circa 2003.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Rebecca Bizonet on June 28, 2016.

Creator

Title
Guide to the William Burrus Oral History
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Rebecca Bizonet
Date
2016-06-28
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Sponsor
Description made possible by funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Revision Statements

  • 2019-04-10: Inventory added by Alexandra A. A. Orchard.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
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Detroit MI 48202 USA