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   Vol. 69/No. 14           April 11, 2005  
25 and 50 years ago
April 11, 1980
NEW YORK—In the legendary days of the great train robberies, the bandits would swoop down without warning.

But not the bandits who control the New York transit system. They’re already publicizing the new, higher priced subway token. The only thing left to be announced is the extent of the ripoff.

Why the new fare hike? Obvious, says Mayor Koch. The workers are striking for more money. But the minimum projected fare increase will be 20 percent, and the seventy-five cent fare would mean a 50 percent boost. Is that what they’re offering the workers? And weren’t they already planning to raise fares long before the strike?

Well, the subways and buses are losing money anyway, argues the Transit Authority.

But not everyone’s a loser.

Like, for instance, the bankers who organized the sale of the BMT and IRT subways to the city forty years ago. The banks obligingly loaned the city $310 million—a lot of bucks in those days—to buy the subways.

We’ll reportedly be making the final payment this June. With forty years of steady interest we’ve paid those original bonds several times over.  
April 11, 1955
LIVERPOOL, March 30—Dockers on England’s north-west coast return to work tomorrow after a victorious three-day strike which completely paralyzed the ports of Liverpool, Birkenhead and Manchester.

All but a handful of the 20,000 men employed on this waterfront stopped work as a swift and decisive answer to Arthur Deakin and the other bosses of the Transport and General Workers Union.

As reported in previous issues of the Militant, the leaders of this most bureaucratic of British trade unions have been fighting desperately during the past six months to prevent the growth of the militant National Amalgamated Stevedores and Dockers Union.

Ever since the national dock strike last October, dockers in Merseyside and in Manchester have been leaving the TGWU in a steady stream and joining the NASDU. Six months ago not one docker in this area was a member of the “blue" union, as the NASDU is popularly called. Now almost half of them have joined and the total continues to grow.  
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