The Association of Post Office Women Clerks (1903-c.1913) was founded as women became employed in this sector. Women were first employed in the British Civil Service in Feb 1870, after the responsibility for Britain's telegraph service came under the remit of the Controller of the Post Office under the Telegraph Act of 1869. At the end of the nineteenth century, there was great opposition to women's employment amongst male employees, in contrast to employers' acceptance of a new workforce who worked for lower wages and was less inclined to industrial agitation. This hostility also affected the male-dominated trade unions of the period, especially those concerned with the Civil Service. This meant that women civil servants of the time continued to occupy separate and lower grades than those of men, and a marriage bar prevented them continuing to work after they became wives. It was not until the turn of the century that female trade union agitation for equal pay and conditions with the male workforce began. Women workers continued to be employed in larger numbers by the Post Office than in other departments. However, conditions continued to be poor. The Association of Post Office Women Clerks was formed in 1903 as a result of a dispute which began in 1897 when women's starting pay and annual increments were suddenly further reduced. By 1904 the union had over 1,300 members. In 1913 the organisation joined the Federation of Women Clerks to further these aims. In 1916 they merged with the Civil Service Typists Association to become the Federation of Women Civil Servants. This represented all clerical women in the Civil Service with the exception of Writing Assistants, had the objective of securing equal pay with male employees and co-operated with male trade unions to attain this end. The Association, along with most of the civil service trades unions were involved in efforts to introduce arbitration and militated for what would become Whitley Councils. After the end of the First World War such action helped bring about a major restructuring of the service. Grades that had been unique to each of the departments were now merged across the entire service to form four basic bands. When women's posts were finally assimilated into the general grading system in 1920, the group found itself weakened as members left for larger mixed unions. As a result of this, the union amalgamated with the Association of Women Clerks and Secretaries in 1932 and continued as the National Association of Women Civil Servants. The organisation was affiliated to the Federation of Women Civil Servants, and later merged with the National Association of Women Civil Servants.