Postal Reorganization Act

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Postal Reorganization Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn act to improve and modernize the postal service, to reorganize the Post Office Department, and for other purposes.
Enacted bythe 91st United States Congress
Public lawPub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 91–375
Statutes at Large84 Stat. 719
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as H.R. 17070
  • Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on August 12, 1970

The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 was a law passed by the United States Congress that abolished the then U.S. Post Office Department, which was a part of the Cabinet, and created the U.S. Postal Service, a corporation-like independent agency authorized by the U.S. government as an official service for the delivery of mail in the United States. President Richard Nixon signed the Act in law on August 12, 1970.[1][2]

The legislation was a direct outcome of the U.S. postal strike of 1970. Prior to the act, postal workers were not permitted by law to engage in collective bargaining. In the act, the four major postal unions (National Association of Letter Carriers, American Postal Workers Union, National Postal Mail Handlers Union, and the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association) won full collective bargaining rights: the right to negotiate on wages, benefits and working conditions, although they still were not allowed the right to strike.[3]

The first paragraph of the act reads:[2]

The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by Act of Congress, and supported by the people. The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities. The costs of establishing and maintaining the Postal Service shall not be apportioned to impair the overall value of such service to the people.

The Postal Reorganization Act (at 39 USC 410(c)(2)) exempts the USPS from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) disclosure of "information of a commercial nature, including trade secrets, whether or not obtained from a person outside the Postal Service, which under good business practice would not be publicly disclosed".[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (1) "The History Behind the USPS Logo". Postal Posts. November 5, 2015. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
    (2) "Postal Reorganization Act". Publication 100 - The United States Postal Service - An American History 1775 - 2006: The history of the United States Postal Service. United States Postal Service. 2018. Archived from the original on February 5, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "TITLE 39---POSTAL SERVICE" (PDF). Public Law 91-375, An Act to improve and modernize the postal service, to reorganize the Post Office Department, and for other purposes. Government Publishing Office. August 12, 1970. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  3. ^ Rubio, Philip F. (2010). There's Always Work at the Post Office: African-American postal workers and the fight for jobs, justice, and equality. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9780807859865.
  4. ^ (1) "39 U.S. Code § 410 - Application of other laws". Legal Information Institute. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Law School. Archived from the original on March 26, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
    (2) "USPS: ZIP Codes are 'Commercially Sensitive' Trade Secrets". The Blog. November 6, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2013.

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