Tugboat Strike - Pier 9b, Photograph, 1946
The tugboat strike in the Winter of 1946 brought NYC to a standstill. The workers were unhappy with their wages, and felt that since WWII was over they deserved an increase. The tugboat owners did not agree. 3500 workers went on strike on February 4. This number included allied trades such as the crew of the tanker MARY A WHALEN.
The lack of fuel, both coal and oil hurt the city. Two days into the strike President Harry Truman seized control of the boats and demanded the workers end their strike, but they voted 2 to 1 to continue. The city was forced to close non-essential buildings and by the second week it shut schools, museums and put a curfew on entertainment spots. Finally, on February 13 the workers and the owners agreed to arbitration.
Aerial photo of idle tugboats in New York Docks Baltic Terminal during a 1946 strike. The Baltic Terminal was where the Port Authority's Pier 9b is today.