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Fire destroys Letter Carriers’ Central Ave. offices
Also lost: 130 years of NALC Branch 9 historical artifacts

Fire destroyed NALC Branch 9 office

The day after the March 22 fire at NALC Branch 9’s office at 2408 Central Ave. NE.. The building demolished March 25.

Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, March 27, 2020

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

MINNEAPOLIS — Amidst everything else, more sad news: A fire March 22 destroyed the offices of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 9 at 2408 Central Ave. NE in Minneapolis.

The fire began in a building next door and jumped to the Branch 9 building, built in 1893, which also included five apartments above the union’s street-level offices.

“Watching it burn, it was just utter shock,” said Samantha Hartwig, who became Branch 9 president March 23. The building’s caretaker phoned to alert her about the fire. Thankfully, she said, “nobody was injured, nobody was hurt.”

Branch 9 owned the building, officing there since the 1990s.

A total loss, the building was torn down March 25. “In our building, we had a lot of Letter Carrier history,” Hartwig said. “It’s just devastating.”

With photos and other memorabilia dating back 130 years, the offices had featured a wall commemorating the 1970 postal strike — the largest wildcat strike in U.S. history — which resulted in postal workers winning collective bargaining rights.

Hartwig said she and Branch 9’s new vice president, JoAnn Gilbaugh, were working from home or from their cars. “Now I’m rebuilding mode,” Hartwig said. “It’s time to move.”






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