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Guide to the Taxi Rank and File Coalition Oral History Collection OH.013

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY, 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive

Collection processed by Tamiment Staff; David Olson

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on October 31, 2013 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Full finding aid created by David Olson incorporating description written by unattributed Tamiment staff 2013

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Taxi Rank and File Coalition.
Title: Taxi Rank and File Coalition Oral History Collection
Dates [inclusive]: 1972 - circa 1980
Abstract: The Taxi Driver's Rank and File Coalition was organized on April 15, 1971 to advocate for fairer contracts and more democratic practices within the New York City Taxi Drivers Union, Local 3036. The union, led by Harry Van Arsdale, had a top-down structure, and proved unable to control the daily shape-ups that allowed company dispatchers to extort payoffs from drivers and discriminate against activists. Dissatisfaction with Van Arsdale's leadership style and the contracts that union leadership had negotiated led to electoral challenges from the Rank and File Coalition and wildcat strikes during the 1970s, with varying effectiveness. In July of 1977, the Rank and File Coalition failed to run a slate of candidates in the election and ceased publication of the rank and file paper, Hot Seat. Van Arsdale had removed himself from the union in 1973, and his successor Ben Goldberg presided over the merger of the Taxi Drivers and Allied Workers Union and the SEIU in 1978. The collection consists of thirty-six access compact disks, derived from twenty-three cassettes. Interviewees discuss working conditions, contract issues, racism, and what they perceived were the undemocratic practices of the Harry Van Arsdale leadership.
Quantity: 1.0 linear feet in 1 compact disk box and 1 card catalog drawer
Language of Materials note: Materials are in English.
Call Phrase: OH.013