This Month in Labor History – NTEU’s Birthday, October 1939

Ever wonder how NTEU came into being? You can thank a group of Wisconsin Internal Revenue “Collectors”, as they were called at the time. At the time, the Bureau of Internal Revenue was plagued by favoritism and patronage jobs, leading to high turnover whenever administrations changed.

This brave group of employees formed the National Association of Employees of Collectors of the Internal Revenue (NAECIR) in 1938, seeking civil service protection, better salaries and working conditions, and a professional, non-partisan workplace. Looking to create a national movement, the first NAECIR convention was held in Milwaukee in October 1939.

Fortunately, NAECIR has changed its name to something less wordy but NTEU’s focus on job protection and benefits hasn’t changed since its first days.