Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
December 22, 2005
Said welcome to the spirit of 19[6]6

Steve Gilliard made some very noteworthy points about the NYC transit strike.

From a different angle, historian Vincent J. Cannato and his researches into the 1966 NYC strike offer some additional grist for contemplation of the question of whether NYC's Powers That Be -- and their newspapers -- would have taken any kindlier view of the strike if the TWU's leadership spoke with an Irish brogue (as it did in 1966) rather than a Trinidadian accent (as it does now):

The city's editorial pages kept up a barrage against Quill and his union.

The Journal-American called the strike a "sabotage of organized society."

The Herald Tribune called Quill a "pompous bore" whose strike was "against the people, not against the Transit Authority."

The Post's James Wechsler wrote that Quill "chose to declare war against the wrong man at the wrong time for the wrong reasons."

The Times saw Quill's behavior as indicative of "his concept that the people of New York are the enemy he is determined to blackjack into surrender. He represents 'the last hurrah' of a cynical Old Guard type of unionism that has long been outdated."

from Cannato's The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New York.

Additionally, Cannato's book casts doubt on the proposition currently in circulation, of jailing the TWU's leadership (as was done in '66) as an effective way to break the strike:

Keeping Quill's associates in jail made them martyrs in the union's eyes, which they realized was a tactical advantage.

When Harry Van Arsdale and George Meany presented a proposal to free Quill from jail, TWU official Douglas MacMahon told the men, "Why don't you guys mind your own business?"

Patient in the bushes next to '[6]7