Oral histories [sound recording], 1976-1977.


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  • Author/Creator: Taxi Drivers Rank and File Coalition.
  • Subjects: Van Arsdale, Harry, 1905-1986 ; Taxi Drivers Rank and File Coalition ; New York City Taxi Drivers Union Local 3036 ; New York (N.Y.). Taxi and Limousine Commission ; Taxicab drivers -- Labor unions -- New York (State) -- New York ; Taxicab drivers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews ; Labor unions -- New York (State) -- New York -- Elections ; Labor union democracy -- New York (State) -- New York ; Audiotapes
  • Notes: Summary: The oral history interviews were conducted by coalition members John Gordon and Paul Wasserman for an uncompleted book project and radio program about the history of the Rank and File Coalition and working experiences, including racism. Interviews were conducted in 1976-1977 at Dover Garage, where a strike was taking place. The collection also contains 2 linear feet of records. There are no transcripts for these interviews.
    Historical Note: The Taxi Driver's Rank and File Coalition, which consisted of disenchanted members of the New York City Taxi Driver's Union Local 3036, was organized on April 15, 1971. The goals it attempted to achieve over its almost seven year life were a fair contract and a more democratic union. Members were opposed to what they saw as the autocracy of the founder of the union, Harry Van Arsdale Jr. They ran a full slate of candidates in the 1971 election and polled forty-two percent of the vote in an election in which they filed thirty-six counts of fraud with the Department of Labor.
    Historical Note: In 1974, the Rank and File presented 2,500 signatures for the restoration of the committee elections. On May 14 and 15 of that year the Rank and File led a strike at the Dover Garage for unfair dismissals. After the dismissed were given back their jobs, the Rank and File fought the proposed fair hike of the Taxi Commission. After fighting all year for committee elections, the Rank and File got a favorable ruling in court for such an election. In June, the Rank and File won a susbstantial victory in the election, which was marred by irregularities; a new election was ordered.
    Historical Note: In July of 1977, the Rank and File failed to run a slate of candidates in the election and ceased publication of the rank and file paper, "Hot Seat". The leaders of the Rank and File expressed their regret for not achieving greater victories in the fight against the established leaders of the union and cited their frustrations and fatigue in the fight for a more democratic union.
  • Language: English
  • Publication Date: 1976
  • Description: 23 cassettes.

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