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Running the RailsCapital and Labor in the Philadelphia Transit Industry$
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James Wolfinger

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702402

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702402.001.0001

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Capital and the Shifting Nature of Social Control

Capital and the Shifting Nature of Social Control

(p.1) Capital and the Shifting Nature of Social Control
Running the Rails

James Wolfinger

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter states the book's aim to explore capital's quest to control labor over nearly a century. Beginning in the 1880s and ending in the 1960s, it tells a tale of workers and management in Philadelphia's public transportation system. This system offers an ideal venue for exploring the changing nature of workplace relations as the company—called at various times the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company (PRT), the Philadelphia Transportation Company (PTC), and finally the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)—helped shape and also took advantage of broader social currents that set the contours of how management and its workers could negotiate with each other and at times engage in open, violent conflict.

Keywords:   labor control, Philadelphia, public transportation system, PRT, PTC, SEPTA, workplace relations

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