American Postal Workers' Union

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Morris "Moe" Biller was born in New York City on November 15, 1915. He attended Brooklyn College and City College and began working in the Postal Service in 1937 as a substitute clerk. Except for wartime service in the military, Biller spent the rest of his life in the Postal Service and as a postal union leader. He held almost every position within his local union (National Federation of Postal Clerks, Local 10) before the local broke away to become the Manhattan-Bronx Postal Workers, a local of the newly formed National Postal Clerks Union. Biller became president of the new local, 25,000 members strong, in 1959 and led the local through the so-called Great Postal Strike of 1970. This national strike lasted eight days and resulted in the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, creating the U.S. Postal Service and granting its employees collective bargaining rights. In 1971 the National Postal Clerks Union joined with four other postal unions to become the American Postal Workers Union. Biller's local took on its present name, the New York Metro Area Postal Union, in 1973; the new name reflected the inclusion of the New York Bulk and Foreign Mail Center and the North Jersey Facility in the local's bargaining unit.

Biller was elected president of the American Postal Workers Union in 1980, and carried his activist style into this new arena. He was a long-time supporter of the civil rights movement and of women's efforts to advance in the labor movement. He served on the boards of numerous charitable organizations, including the March of Dimes and United Way, and sat on the boards of university labor studies programs at Cornell University and Empire State College. Biller's personal interest in labor history was exemplified in the cooperation he offered to the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University, to the Tenement Museum on New York's Lower East Side, and to a number of labor history oral history and film projects. It was with his full and enthusiastic support that Dana Schechter embarked on her project to document the history of the New York Metro Area Postal Union through interviews with and by the local's retirees. On his retirement Biller returned to live in his beloved New York City; he died in New York on September 5, 2003.

Sources:

Walsh, John and Garth Mangum, Labor Struggle in the Post Office: From Selective Lobbying to Collective Bargaining (New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1992).

From the guide to the American Postal Workers Union: Moe Biller Records, 1930-2001, (Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf American Postal Workers Union: Moe Biller Records, 1930-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
creatorOf American Postal Workers Union. American Postal Workers Union. Organizing kit. Cornell University Library
referencedIn American Postal Workers Union Printed Ephemera Collection, 1969-2003 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn J. Walter Thompson Company. Domestic Advertisements Collection, 1875-2001 and undated, bulk 1920s-1990s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn American Medical Association. Dept. of Investigation. Records. American Natural Hygiene Society-American Postal Workers Union (inclusive), 1957-1974. American Medical Association,James S. Todd Memorial Library
referencedIn Archives Union File, 1892-2004. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Tamiment Library. American Postal Workers Union Printed Ephemera Collection. New York University, Tamiment Library
referencedIn Tamiment Library Newspapers, Bulk, 1960-1990, 1873-, (Bulk 1960-1990) Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn Parkinson, Philip W. Philip W. Parkinson labor contracts and agreements collection, 1960-1995. University of Pittsburgh
referencedIn Sheinman, Martin, Collector. Collective Bargaining Agreements. 1943-2008. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Roach, Michael. Poster and Broadside Collection of Tamiment Institute Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, [ca. 1904-1991]. 1935-1975 (bulk). Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Schutz, Morton, 1911-. Papers, 1945-1959. 1950-1958 (bulk). Churchill County Museum
referencedIn United States Postal Service. Post Office Arbitration files, 1973-1984. Cornell University Library
referencedIn American Postal Workers Union Printed Ephemera Collection, 1969-2003 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Alan McSurely Papers, 1928-1985 (bulk 1960s-1980s) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
referencedIn Zack, Arnold. Arnold Marshall Zack arbitration papers, 1959-1976, bulk 1960-1972. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Weems, Lloyd, 1921-. Oral history interview with Lloyd Weems in Des Moines, Iowa, 1980 May 08 [microform] / conducted by Gregory R. Zieren. Iowa State Historical Society
referencedIn Anderson, Arvid. Arvid Anderson. Files, 1968-1976, 1983-1987, 1994-2005. Cornell University Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Medical Association. Dept. of Investigation. corporateBody
associatedWith Anderson, Arvid. person
associatedWith Biller, Moe, 1915-2003 person
associatedWith Goodman, Sidney. person
associatedWith J. Walter Thompson Company. corporateBody
associatedWith McSurely, Alan, 1936- person
associatedWith New York Metro Area Postal Union. corporateBody
associatedWith Parkinson, Philip W. person
associatedWith Salk, Charles. person
associatedWith Schechter, Dana. person
associatedWith Schutz, Morton, 1911- person
associatedWith Tamiment Library. corporateBody
associatedWith United States Postal Service. corporateBody
associatedWith Weems, Lloyd, 1921- person
associatedWith Zack, Arnold. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Washington (D.C.)
New York (N.Y.)
United States Postal Service |x Employees |x History.
United States
Subject
Postal service--Employees--Labor unions
Postal Strike, U.S., 1970
Postal service--Employees--Labor unions--United States
Strikes and lockouts--Postal Workers
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

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