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1970's CTA Strike

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Last night my wife brought up the last strike the CTA had in the 1970's. She remembered not being able to get to school, cause there were no buses.

The question I have is the reason for the strike at the time. Of course, money and working conditions would be one of the issues, as in all strikes. But, if I recall correctly (of course then I was in my teens), also, was not one of the reasons for this the epidemic of robberies at the time and the lack of security etc. This of course was about the time exact fare boxes were put onto buses as well as the initial installation of 2 way radios and bus alarms.

Anybody remember the details ????

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Posted

Last night my wife brought up the last strike the CTA had in the 1970's. She remembered not being able to get to school, cause there were no buses.

The question I have is the reason for the strike at the time. Of course, money and working conditions would be one of the issues, as in all strikes. But, if I recall correctly (of course then I was in my teens), also, was not one of the reasons for this the epidemic of robberies at the time and the lack of security etc. This of course was about the time exact fare boxes were put onto buses as well as the initial installation of 2 way radios and bus alarms.

Anybody remember the details ????

The Spring 2005 issue of First and Fastest (www.shore-line.org) has an article 3 or 4 pages long on the strike of 1979. They said it was Dec 17th to 20th of that year. The story is told in the perspective of an assistant rail district superintendent from the Winter rail task force at that time. The story mainly covers the rail side of the strike on the then Ravenswood branch. The first day it was reported that only 2 union employees showed up. No switchman, no motorman or conductors or station agents reported for work. A picket line had been established on Kimball in front of the station platform. So a train crew was dispatched to lock up the stations for the first day. District Superintendents operated the Clark junction and Tower 18 manual interlockings. On the next few days using Management and professional employees partial train service was established on the now Red line from Howard to Belmont, on the Ravenswood, on the Evanston and West South Lake Dan Ryan service. (For security reasons subways would not be served. ) #6000's were mostly operated due to the comfort level of Management employees that were not that comfortable with the #2400's as of yet. 3 policeman were riding the train for extra security. Train rides were free. At times they were only two trains total on the ravenswood. This resulted in major overcrowding. People were boarding trains between cars and riding between cars. No effort was made to stop this in fear of a riot. One of the trains that day was driven by then president George Krambles. Manpower had been stretched to the bone. The same issue also shows the digout of the Blizzard of 1979 on the Skokie Swift. I guess it was one of those years.

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