August 23, 1978 – Prospect Of A Postal Strike – FBI Bugs Chicago 7 Defense Attorneys
August 23, 1978 – A Postal Strike was threatening, and disruption of mail service loomed. The National letter Carriers Union rejected the contract agreement presented earlier. Other unions were considering following suit. Carriers Union President Joseph Baca told reporters that a strike would take place unless negotiations reopened within five days. He went on to blame AFofL-CIO President George Meaney in part for the rejection because Meaney had called the settlement inadequate. Baca had supported ratification of the contract, but dutifully asked the Postal Service to reopen negotiations by the following Monday. The Postmaster General William Bolger said in a statement that the procedure should be Binding Arbitration, which the union opposed, but Bolger did not rule out negotiations.
Meanwhile, some 1500 letters dating back some two years were found, trapped in a crawlspace between the 15th and 16th floors of a Detroit City Office building. The letters had been accumulating there because of a faulty mail-chute, which directed some letters to the crawlspace instead of the first floor mail-station. For once, the Post Office didn’t get blamed.
Allegations that the FBI bugged secret conversations of Defense attorneys surfaced as subpoenaed documents showed the FBI did, in fact bug a supposedly sacrosanct conference of Defense Attorneys during the Chicago 7 Trial. They key document was a 4-page coded teletype, sent from the Newark New Jersey FBI office to FBI Director J.Edgar Hoover early in 1970. It was said to contain a word-for-word transcript of a meeting of all the Chicago 7 Defense Lawyers in March of 1970 in the Newark Law office of Defense Attorney Leonard Weinglass. FBI spokespeople had no comment.
And a hostage situation was taking place at the Presidential palace in Managua, Nicaragua. Some 500 people were being held by a group of leftist guerrillas who were demanding ransom money and freedom for the country’s political prisoners as well as a flight out of the country for themselves. Reports claimed the guerrillas killed 14 as they seized the palace the day before.
And that’s a small slice of what went on, this August 23, 1978 as reported by The World Tonight from CBS Radio.