When David Rodriguez first began at the U.S. Post Office Department in 1958, employees would show up and have to wait until work was available, resulting in 12- to 15-hour days with minimal pay. Not until 1963, with President Kennedy’s executive order, did federal employees have the right to even limited collective bargaining.
Later, Brother Rodriguez joined more than 200,000 postal workers who walked off the job in the 8-day Great Postal Strike, which led to the enactment of the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 and the creation of the United States Postal Service. As a member of the newly minted American Postal Workers Union, Rodriguez gained many benefits from union contracts with USPS over the years, including the guarantee of eight hours of work a day.
Over those 60 years of service, Brother Rodriguez never called in sick, accruing more than 6,000 hours of sick leave in a long and healthy career. His impressive work ethic and dedication to the job gained him many admirers among fellow APWU members of the San Antonio Alamo Area Local. His “wisdom and commitment to excellence has long inspired all of us and will be remembered for many years to come,” said Local President Crescencio Rincon at his May 31st retirement celebration.
Rodriguez’s federal service actually began 10 years earlier, in 1948, as a member of the U.S. Air Force soon to get involved in the Korean War. His assignments with the postal service expanded his experience as he worked the manual section, parcel post, flats, automation, expediter, special delivery and other jobs that no longer exist.
Rodriguez celebrated his 89th birthday on May 31 while also retiring as an APWU Clerk member in good standing. The APWU extends best wishes to Brother Rodriguez on his well-deserved retirement.
To read more on his distinguished career and see video of his retirement celebration, please visit the San Antonio Alamo Area Local’s website here.