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About this product
- DescriptionPhiladelphia exploded in violence in 1910. The general strike that year was a table point, but t a unique one, in a generations-long history of conflict between the workers and management at one of the nation's largest privately owned transit systems. In Running the Rails, James Wolfinger uses the history of Philadelphia's sprawling public transportation system to explore how labor relations shifted from the 1880s to the 1960s. As transit workers adapted to fast-paced techlogical invation to keep the city's people and commerce on the move, management sought to limit its employees' rights. Raw violence, welfare capitalism, race-baiting, and smear campaigns against unions were among the strategies managers used to control the company's labor force and enhance corporate profits, often at the expense of the workers' and the city's well-being. Public service workers and their unions come under frequent attack for being a special interest or a hindrance to the smooth functioning of society. This book offers readers a different, historically grounded way of thinking about the people who keep their cities running. Working in public transit is a difficult job w, as it was a century ago. The benefits and decent wages Philadelphia public transit workers secured-advances that were hard-won and well deserved-came as a result of fighting for decades against their exploitation. Given capital's great power in American society and management's enduring quest to control its workforce, it is remarkable to see how much Philadelphia's transit workers achieved.
- Author BiographyJames Wolfinger is Professor of History and Education at DePaul University. He is the author of Philadelphia Divided: Race and Politics in the City of Brotherly Love.
- Author(s)James Wolfinger
- PublisherCornell University Press
- Date of Publication12/05/2016
- SubjectRegional History
- Place of PublicationIthaca
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintCornell University Press
- Content Note19, 16 black & white halftones, 2 tables, 1 maps
- Weight542 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine25 mm
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