Elevated and Subway Lines Idle in Manhattan and Bronx
Interborough Makes No Effort to Run Cars, Loyal men Sent Home
Mayor Calls Strikers Eight-Cent Fare Tools
City Operates 300 ’Buses and Prepares to Put 900 More on Regular Routes To-day.
Not a single passenger was carried over the subway, and elevated lines of the Interborough after 4 o'clock yesterday morning. When the strike order of the Brotherhood of Interborough Employes became effective the roads shut down completely.
No attempt was made by the Interborough management to resume service.
Loyal motorman and conductors who reported for duty were told by officials to go back home.
District Attorney Swann, who has been investigating the charge of conspiracy between Interborough officials and employes to get an 8-cents fare, said last night that the men his office had
interrogated seemed to have been "coached and drilled thoroughly for several months." Of the twenty men interviewed not one he said, had attended a meeting of the Brotherhood at which the strike was discussed. He also announced he had received information that, the men had been promised one-third of the fare increase.
District Attorney Martin, of Bronx County has come upon similar information, and will start an investigation to-day. So will Lewis-Nixon, Public Service Commissioner.
Governor Smith arrived in town last night, for what purpose could not be learned.
The city suffered little inconvenience during the first day of the strike. A few more surface cars were operated than is usual on Sunday and these appeared able to take care of all passengers. The B.R.T. Broadway subway carried thousands.
Taxicab companies and 'bus lines reported small increase in business. There was no confusion and no disorder.
Beyond an appeal by Mayor Hylan, made over the heads of leaders of the Brother- hood to the striking men themselves, no move toward mediation or arbitration was attempted.
The city prepared to cope with the business rush to-day by means of 1,200 'buses, boats plying on the Hudson and East rivers, and augmented suburban service on the
New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. By these agencies it is hoped to handle traffic until the strike breaks from sheer inertia.
Mayor Hylan in his appeal to the Interborough employes, told them they were merely being used as tools by the Interborough management, which hoped to realize 8-cent fares through the strike. He asked the men to meet in Madison Square Garden at any hour of the day or night and permit him to talk to them.
Three hundred 'buses were operated over five routes by the city yesterday. Nine hundred more 'buses will be run to-day and six more routes will be opened.
The end of the Great War saw massive inflation and a spate of strikes. One in particular was the one day transit strike August 18-19, 1919 in New York City. This strike was notable because of the solidarity of the IRT workers. The fare was almost raised to eight cents, but was held at a nickel. The employees got twenty-five percent wage increase without raising the fare.
All the major dailies carried the story:
The New York Tribune, Monday, August 18, 1919…
What Granting Strike Demands
What I.R.T. employes get
*62 ½ c an hour
What I.R.T. employes ask
93 ¾ c. an hour
What I.R.T. offers
68 ¾ c. an hour
What granting employes’ demand would cost
$10,000,000 a year
Number of additional passengers the I.R.T. would have to carry with same equipment and personnel at five cents each to pay what men ask
200,000,000 a year
©2003 The Composing Stack Inc. ©2003 Gregory J. Christiano
Updated January 20 , 2003