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Trainnews - volume 8 - issue 169 (International)
Posted by: Espee99 ()
Date: August 27, 2015 05:08PM

Trainnews - volume 8 - issue 169 (International) - 08/27/15

This day in Railroad History

August 27, 1950
In anticipation of a crippling strike by railroad workers, President Harry S. Truman issues an executive order putting America’s railroads under the control of the U.S. Army. Truman’s intervention was critical, as he had just ordered American troops into a war against North Korean communist forces in June. Since much of America’s economic and defense infrastructure was dependent upon the smooth functioning of the railroads, the 1950 strike proposed by two enormous labor organizations, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and the Order of Railway Conductors, posed an even greater threat. "Secretary of the Army, Frank Pace Jr., said in a statement that day, 'We must not permit the flow of essential support to the forces in Korea to be interrupted.' Both sides agreed to comply with the Army's request for continued operations, and the labor unions called off their strike. Due to the wartime shortage of troops, the Army spared only 46 officers, one enlisted man (a sergeant), and eight civilian clerks to full-time rail service. It did this successfully by staying in the background when possible, interfering with rail operations only when necessary to maintain uninterrupted service. In May 1952, rail companies and the major labor unions finally settled their dispute and the railroads were returned to private ownership.

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