Transit Strike 1974
Members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689 struck on May 1, 1974 against the newly created Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA or Metro as it is commonly known) when no agreement was reached on a new contract.

Metro obtained a court injunction on May 2nd and on May 3rd, union President George Davis and Secretary Treasurer Rodney Richmond were threatened with jail unless they ended the strike. Rank and file members defied leaders and continued the strike through May 5th before returning to work en masse May 6th and 7th..

The dispute centered on a cost-of-living escalator clause that led to another wilcat strike in 1978. In 1983, a compromise was reached where WMATA picked up the employee cost of pension contributions in return for the union surrendering quarterly cost-of-living increases.

The union was fined $100,000 for continuing the 1974 strike, although the fine was later reduced to $50,000.

The images by Patrick McCann in this set were taken at the Western Bus Garage located at Wisconsin Ave & Ingomar St. NW, Washington, DC. The building is still in use today as a bus garage.

The images by Peter Copeland & Joseph Silverman were taken at the Bladensburg Bus Garage located on Bladensburg Road whose official address is 2251 26th Pl NE Washington DC.

This set of images was scanned from original negatives. Photos credited to Patrick McCann can be used for non-commercial use with attribution. Photos by Peter Copeland & Joseph Silverman have all rights reserved.
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