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Running the rails : capital and labor in the Philadelphia transit industry

Author: James Wolfinger
Publisher: Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2016.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Philadelphia exploded in violence in 1910. The general strike that year was a notable point, but not 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  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
History
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Wolfinger, James.
Running the rails.
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2016
(DLC) 2015045186
(OCoLC)927381815
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: James Wolfinger
ISBN: 9781501704239 1501704230
OCLC Number: 950739187
Language Note: In English.
Description: 1 online resource
Contents: Capital and the shifting nature of social control --
Beginnings --
Working on the line --
Time of troubles --
The age of Thomas Mitten --
Hard times and a hate strike --
Labor relations and public relations --
National city lines and the imperatives of postwar capitalism --
Advances hard won and well-deserved.
Responsibility: James Wolfinger.
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Abstract:

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.  Read more...

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"Running the Rails blends labor history, political history, and urban history with impressive skill. It also deepens our understanding of Philadelphia and introduces Michael J. Quill-who is known Read more...

 
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The general strike that year was a notable point, but not 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 technological innovation 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 now, 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. 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