1966 Strike a Seminal Moment in TWU History
Fifty years ago this month, New York City transit workers, led by TWU founding president Michael Quill, voted unanimously to strike, setting the stage for how TWU is recognized today: a fighting, militant union that stands up for justice for all working people, with the courage to advocate for what is right, even if it isn’t popular.
Ten minutes after 1965 became 1966, Quill and his team stormed out of a bargaining session with the Transit Authority and brought the city to a screeching halt
. It was a move that put TWU on the map nationwide as a union that will aggressively defend its members.
TWU rank and file members—33,000 strong—walked off their jobs, shutting down subways, buses and even private bus lines. Six million commuters had nothing to ride. It is estimated the strike cost the city nearly $100 million a day in lost business.