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NALC City Delivery Director Records

Identifier: LR001912_CD

Scope and Content

Materials in this portion of the NALC collection consist of the administrative records of Gustave J. Johnson, City Delivery director from 1972 to 1977, and his successor, Joseph H. Johnson, Jr., director from 1977 to 1986. A significant portion of these records relate to grievances and arbitration proceedings. These records include materials originating in the office of the assistant secretary-treasurer but later added to the collection of grievance records retained by the City Delivery director.

Important subjects in this record group: African American labor union members Carrier Working Methods Program (United States Postal Service) Civil Rights Collective bargaining Collective labor agreements Electronic mail systems Grievance arbitration Grievance procedures Labor-management committees Labor union locals Letter Carrier Route Evaluation System (United States Postal Service) Letter carriers Letter carriers--Uniforms Letter mail handling Kokomo plan (United States Postal Service) Minority labor union members Occupational safety and health Postal service Postal service--Saturday delivery Sexual harassment United States. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission United States. Post Office Dept. United States Postal Service United States Postal Service. Accident prevention program

Important correspondents in this record group: Biller, Moe Bolger, William F. Gildea, James C. Hawkins, Paula Hooks, Benjamin Johnson, Lonnie Pollard, William E. Martin, Louis Thomas, Clarence
Series Description: Series I, Gustave J. Johnson Files, 1957-1977, Boxes 1-3: Subseries A, National Business Agents, 1972-1976, Box 1: Folders in this subseries contain correspondence between Gus Johnson and the national business agents representing the NALC administration in fifteen regions across the country. The letters, memos and reports that make up this material provide information on branch activities, contract administration, and U.S. Postal Service regulations as they relate to city delivery service. Names of the national business agents are listed alphabetically.

Subseries B: Committees Records, 1967-1976, Box 1: Records found in this subseries include materials generated both prior to and following the establishment of the office of City Delivery director in 1972. Of note are records of the Joint Labor-Management Safety Committee, which include information on the U.S. Postal Service Accident Prevention Program, program evaluations by the Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and legislation related to safety programs for postal service employees.

Subseries C, U.S. Postal Service Manuals, Handbooks, etc., 1964-1976, Box 1: Materials found in Subseries C consist of various forms, manuals and handbooks published by the Post Office Department prior to the 1971postal service reorganization, and by the U.S. Postal Service following the reorganization and renaming of the organization. These materials govern various areas of letter carriers' service, including work methods and route adjustments, as well as personnel and fiscal issues. Also included are amendments to regulations and proposed revisions to the 1970-1971 Postal Service Manual.

Subseries D, Subject Files, 1957-1976, Boxes 1-3: The subject files in this subseries are self-explanatory and cover a wide range of topics related to city delivery service. Of special interest are records relating to experimental programs implemented by the U.S. Postal Service, including a proposed Saturday delivery plan in Dallas, TX, and the Letter Carrier Route Evaluation System (LCRES) in Kokomo, IN and Portland, OR. The LCRES program (also known as the Kokomo Plan) led to a strike vote by delegates to the 1974 national convention, the filing of a national level grievance by NALC, and nine months of arbitration hearings that ended with an award in favor of the union and against the U.S. Postal Service.

Subseries E, State Files, 1968-1977, Box 3: Folders in subseries E contain correspondence, convention materials,reports and other records relating to NALC branches and state associations. Files are arranged alphabetically by state. Series II, Joseph J. Johnson Files, 1972-1985, Boxes 4-8:

Subseries A, Assignments, 1976-1981, Box 4: Folders in this subseries contain travel authorizations and correspondence assigning the City Delivery director and national business agents to various functions, such as training sessions and branch officer installations. Subseries B, Correspondence, 1978-1985, Boxes 4-5: General correspondence files in this subseries are arranged chronologically. The bulk of this material is outgoing and pertains to a wide range of issuesrelating to city delivery service. Recipients include national officers, national business agents, branch and state officers and members, the U.S. Labor Relations Department, and members of Congress. Folders containing correspondence between the City Delivery director and NALC’s national officers are identified by name and office. These also include memos, reports, and newsletters.

Subseries C, National Business Agents, 1979-1984, Boxes 5-6: Subseries C folders contain correspondence, newsletters, grievance records, and other materials generated by and/or relevant to each national business agent and his specific region. Of particular interest is material relating to the turbulent 1981 contract negotiations between NALC and the U.S. Postal Service. These records, contained in the files of national business agent Wayne White, include the Atlanta Region Communications/Contingency Plan which deals with picketing, protection of property, and communication in the event of a possible strike. The first folder in this subseries contains mass mailings to the national business agents. Those that follow are listed alphabetically by the national business agent’s name. Subseries D, Committee Materials, 1977-1982, Box 6: Records contained in this subseries document the activities of two committees. Materials of the AFL-CIO, NAACP Ad Hoc Labor Committee consist of agendas and meeting minutes, as well as information on membership, contributions, committee-sponsored programs and legislative issues. Topics focus heavily on civil rights, affirmative action, and African-Americans in the labor movement. Included is the transcript of a speech delivered by Benjamin Hooks, executive director of the NAACP, at the NALC national convention on August 11, 1980. Records of the Joint City Delivery Committee, established by the 1973 national agreement between NALC and the U.S. Postal Service, include agendas, meeting minutes, and both labor and management position papers on postal service policies, practices and handbook content.

Subseries E, Subject Files, 1972-1984, Boxes 6-7: Folders found in Subseries E are arranged alphabetically by subject. These records document the prevalent issues affecting city delivery service during the years indicated. A significant portion of these files relate to the turbulent contract negotiations and events leading up to ratification of the 1981 national agreement.

Subseries F, State Files, 1977-1985, Boxes 7-8: Materials in this subseries consist primarily of correspondence between the City Delivery director and officers and members of NALC branches and state associations. Files are arranged alphabetically by state. Series III, Grievance and Arbitration Files, 1974-1985, Boxes 8-13:

Subseries A, Arbitration—Opinions and Awards, 1977-1984, Boxes 8-9: The opinions and awards contained in this subseries relate to both branch and national level arbitration cases. A small number of American Postal Workers Union (APWU) opinions are also included. Branch documents are arranged according to state and are followed by opinions relating to the national level cases.

Subseries B, Grievances (Closed), 1974-1983, Boxes 9-10: Records in this subseries relate to grievances at the Step 4 level of arbitration that were closed due to settlement, denial or termination. Grievances are arranged alphabetically, first by state, then by local office. Class action cases are noted.

Subseries C, Grievances (Remanded), 1978-1983, Boxes 10-12: This subseries contains records relating to grievances at the Step 4 level of arbitration that were remanded to Step 3 as of the dates indicated. Grievances are arranged alphabetically, first by state, then by local office. Class action cases are noted.

Subseries D, Grievances (Assistant Secretary-Treasurer’s Files), 1975-1985, Boxes 12-13: The records in this subseries originated in the office of the assistant secretary-treasurer and were later added to the grievance materials retained by the City Delivery director. These files, arranged alphabetically by state, contain arbitration and Step 4 grievance records, as well as related correspondence with officers and members of NALC branches and state associations. Some general correspondence is also found in these files.


  • 1957 - 1985
  • Majority of material found within 1972 - 1985


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.


Following the postal reorganization of 1971, President James Rademacher proposed that NALC establish a City Delivery director at the national level to focus on grievances, requests for arbitration, and the general condition of city delivery service. In support of his recommendation, delegates to the 1972 national convention in New Orleans approved an amendment to the NALC Constitution creating a nationally elected position of City Delivery director. President Rademacher immediately appointed Gustave J. (Gus) Johnson of New York City Branch 36 to fill that office.

The new director was placed in charge of all organizational activities relating to city delivery service. His duties included analyzing grievances and making recommendations to improve conditions; preparing materials for training programs, and providing information to carriers on policies and regulations governing delivery. The director also represented NALC on matters of safety with the U.S. Postal Service.

Gus Johnson served as City Delivery director from 1972 until 1976, when he was elected to the office of national secretary-treasurer, a post he held through 1980. Gus was born in New York City in 1927 and joined NALC's NYC Branch 36 in 1947, one day after beginning work with the Post Office Department. Six months later he was chosen chairman of the Substitute Postmen Committee. He was elected executive vice president of Branch 36 in 1965, and succeeded to the presidency of that branch in 1968. From 1968 to 1970, he also served as national field director (later known as national business agent) for the New York region. In 1970, Gus Johnson led the boisterous members of Branch 36 in a walkout that sparked the first national postal strike in history. Later that same year he lost his bid for reelection as president of Branch 36 to Vincent J. Sombrotto, but was later called to Washington by President Rademacher to serve as the first City Delivery director. Gustave Johnson passed away in 2001.

Gus Johnson was succeeded by Joseph H. (Joe) Johnson, Jr. who was elected City Delivery director in 1977. Joe Johnson was born in Richmond, VA in 1924, attended Hampton Institute, and served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946. He began his career with the Post Office Department as a substitute carrier in his hometown of Richmond in 1948, became a station representative, and served as president of Branch 496 from 1956 to 1958. He was also president of the Virginia State Association from 1960 to 1962 and NALC's delegate to the AFL-CIO convention from 1963 to 1967. Joe Johnson was appointed national field director in 1967, elected to that position in 1968 and served until he was elected City Delivery director in 1977. He retired from that position in 1986.


13 Linear Feet (13 SB)


The national position of City Delivery Director of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) was created in 1972 to focus on all organizational activities relating to city delivery service, including grievances, training programs, and policies and regulations. Records in this collection reflect the activities of two directors: Gustave J. Johnson, the first City Delivery Director, and his successor, Joseph H. Johnson. The majority of the materials relate to grievances and arbitration proceedings.


Arranged in 3 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-3), Series 2 (Boxes 4-8) and Series 3 (Boxes 8-13).

Series 1 is divided into 5 subseries. Series 2 is divided into 6 subseries. Series 3 is divided into 4 subseries.
When deposited, records in this collection were separated by office and by year. In order to make the collection more accessible to researchers, yearly records for each director’s office were merged according to subject. The records remain separated by office, but within each director’s office, unless otherwise noted, material is now arranged first by subject, and then in chronological order.


Records of the City Delivery director were deposited in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) in 2001.

Related Materials

NALC collections

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in December 2007.
Guide to the NALC City Delivery Director 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