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History repeats itself. (NYC transit strike)
December 20, 2005 9:23 PM   Subscribe

Almost exactly 40 years ago, on New Year's Day 1966, 35,000 transit workers walked off the job in New York City, defying the 1947 Condon-Wadlin Act which forbade strikes by government employees. Mike Quill, the TWU's militant founder and president, 'Called an "irresponsible demagogue" and "lawless hooligan" by the press,' 'would not be daunted by politicians' pronouncements and editorial page attacks.' When served with a court order, "Mike Quill tore up the injunction in front of the television cameras." The strike led to the creation of the Taylor Law, which is now being used in attempt to crush the TWU Local 100 strike of today.
posted by Edible Energy (20 comments total)

 
Because the 300+ comment discussion already going wasn't enough?
posted by ChasFile at 10:03 PM on December 20, 2005


chafile, are you fucking kidding? did you completely ignore the entire historical context of this post? this isn't newfilter, it's not a double, it's barely an overlap.

cheers for this post. I had no idea what the history of the taylor law is, and why on earth something that takes away a union's only real defense from corproate greediness would even be drafted in the first place.
posted by shmegegge at 11:48 PM on December 20, 2005


Fuck it. I endorse unionization of everything. Even if it involves a period of economic and civil upheaval.
posted by sourwookie at 11:49 PM on December 20, 2005


FYI: Spell check did not recognize "fuck."
posted by sourwookie at 11:50 PM on December 20, 2005


chafile, are you fucking kidding? did you completely ignore the entire historical context of this post? this isn't newfilter, it's not a double, it's barely an overlap.

Barely any overlap? Uh... ok. So the idea is that this piece of historicism would (and should) have been posted even had the TWU not gone on strike? Well, in that case, why not post it on January 1 (see? I read the post), exactly 40 years to the day after the strike began, as so many other historical posts of this nature do?

No, I believe that this post was the result of someone digging up some links in the course of their reading about the current TWU strike, and then making an FPP out of it. I therefore stand by the position that a more appropriate place for these links is in today's first post on the MTA strike.

I further believe that these links belong in that thread because that's where anyone who wants to discuss this issue is going to go. Witness the 5 comments (two of which are mine) here, and the 300 over there.

Again, if this is, indeed, meant to be a stands-on-its-own-two-feet FPP, why not post it on the anniversery of the strike, rather than some day that is almost the anniversary? If, for some reason, you must insist upon posting it some day that is almost the anniversary, then why post it on the same day as the Newsfilter, and dilute your possible readership -- and commentership -- in so dramatic a fashion? I stand by my original statement: these links were almost certainly found as a result of the currenct strike, and as such are best placed in the thread that already exists related to that issue.

But to answer your question directly, yes, I am fucking kidding you.
posted by ChasFile at 12:24 AM on December 21, 2005


I would argue that the 300+ thread is too much
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:43 AM on December 21, 2005


I would argue that Chasfile didn't have anything more interesting to say and is just pontificating.
posted by elpapacito at 3:21 AM on December 21, 2005


> I endorse unionization of everything. Even if it involves a period of economic and civil upheaval.

Plus, walking to work through the nippy fall air is so good for you.
posted by jfuller at 3:59 AM on December 21, 2005


If you can't stop working, then you're a slave. Why does MTA and right wingers hate freedom so much ?
posted by elpapacito at 4:03 AM on December 21, 2005


Is President Bush not able to have stopped this strike? I mean, I remember when Clinton essentially told the American Airlines pilots they were not allowed to strike because of some law.

Now, Bush is never going to win the "labor" vote in New York anyways, he would have had not much to lose and everything to gain if he did the same thing.

Moreover, you would think with a ridiculously powerful NSA and Patriot Act -- he would be able to do something in the name of national security.

Or, he just really does not care about New Yorkers.
posted by narebuc at 5:25 AM on December 21, 2005


Airlines are interstate commerce.
posted by smackfu at 7:12 AM on December 21, 2005


It's not under Bush's jurisdiction--it's a city and state issue. And he can't claim national security or anything--the subways being closed reduces the threat of attack there. I think Presidents can only intervene legally when it's an interstate issue, like Air Traffic Controllers when Reagan fired all of them.

What's interesting is Lindsay's response back then compared to bitter Bloomberg's.
posted by amberglow at 7:31 AM on December 21, 2005


If the commerce clause is all that is preventing change, I bet even this Supreme Court would state the transit strike affects interstate commerce (all the business not happening, NJ, CT workers being affected).

Moreover, Bush is using "9/11" and "we're at war" to justify everything from torture to blatantly illegal wiretapping.

If the economic impact of the strike is as huge as it is, and it will only get worse as time goes on, why can't he claim that the strike hurts our war effort?

I guess on another note, Bush has to be a better job of getting us in this "war" mentality. He states the war on terror is real and we gotta take seriously. Ok, fine. We're spending $1.5 Bill/week on it already. BUT, they deficit spend and tell us to go on spending like mad because heaven forbid the economy slow up a bit. It's just that I doubt you would have ever seen a strike of this sort in WWII. And, nowadays, New York is even more important to the American and global economies.

At any rate here
is an article praising Clinton's role in averting a pilot's strike.

Next, if the Railway Labor Act being described in Wikipedia is accurate, it provides for some federal meddling. While I guess the MTA is not really a railroad under that purpose or act, can't some clever legal wrangling (you know that some federal money is going into the New York subway system) help it apply?

I'm sure its been thought of while nothing is there really.....it seems funny the "war" President is powerless here though.
posted by narebuc at 7:51 AM on December 21, 2005


Don't encourage Bush to do something... the last time N.Y. had a crisis the idiot invaded a country!
posted by HuronBob at 9:51 AM on December 21, 2005


Hope Portugal is feeling frisky, in that case.
posted by Talanvor at 11:00 AM on December 21, 2005


And if Bush does get involved, it makes Pataki and Bloomberg both look weak...they're saying Pataki is going to run in 08, don't forget (not that he has a chance in hell).

...NJ, CT workers being affected).
They're not prevented from coming into the city at all--all commuter lines and PATH trains are still running. And judging by the traffic, far more cars than usual are coming in each day. Trucks are still everywhere, and business is still getting done.
posted by amberglow at 11:02 AM on December 21, 2005


If only the lower orders would be mindful of there proper place.
posted by larry_darrell at 11:12 AM on December 21, 2005


"If you can't stop working, then you're a slave."

Nobody's saying they can't stop working. They just can't all organize themselves to do it at once, crippling the city's infrastructure and using that effect as a bargaining chip.
posted by CrayDrygu at 6:07 PM on December 21, 2005


Why not?
posted by Edible Energy at 6:37 PM on December 21, 2005


Because I say so!!

I'm sick of my life all messed up! ME ME ME ME ME!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:47 PM on December 21, 2005 [1 favorite]


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