Dr. James Wolfinger, Associate Dean of the College of Education and Professor of History at DePaul University, will lecture on “Running the Rails: A History of Capital and Labor in the Philadelphia Transit Industry,” part of the Center for Urban Research and Education’s (CURE) Seminar Series. The event will take place on Friday, February 16th, at 11:15 a.m. in Armitage Hall’s Faculty Lounge. Lunch will be served. All are welcome to this free event.
Questions may be directed to Dr. Natasha Fletcher, Associate Director of CURE.
The abstract of the talk is as follows:
“Philadelphia exploded in violence in 1910. The general strike that year claimed the lives of some two dozen people and made Philadelphia a prominent point in the tumultuous national conflict over workers’ rights. That strike was a notable point, but not a unique one, in the history of Philadelphia’s transit system. My paper, “Running the Rails: A History of Capital and Labor in the Philadelphia Transit Industry,” outlines the chief arguments that I make in my recent book, Running the Rails (Cornell University Press, 2016), which details a generations-long history of conflict between the workers and management at one of the nation’s largest privately owned transit systems. In particular, I focus on 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 while management sought to limit its employees’ rights. I argue that it is remarkable to see how much Philadelphia’s transit workers achieved.”