On Sunday BART workers might strike, throwing Bay Area transportation into chaos. It's a tiny echo of the kind of warfare that used to erupt regularly a century ago on the streetcar lines of San Francisco. 1,500 streetcar men voted to strike for an 8-hour day, leading to "Bloody Tuesday," May 7, 1907, when gunfights exploded between armed guards and men shooting from nearby vacant lots, while strikebreakers housed in United Railroads carbarns opened fire on protesting crowds, killing two and injuring 20. By the time the strike was lost in March 1908, six had been killed in the violence, 250 more hurt, and over two dozen had died in accidents on the system while it was run by scab labor.
A decade later, almost exactly 92 years ago, streetcar workers struck again:
On August 11, 1917, at 9:45 p.m., one hundred "platform men" employed by the privately owned United Railroads (URR) streetcar service in San Francisco, abandoned their streetcars near the corner of Market, Valencia and Haight Streets, rapidly tying up many of the main lines in and out of the city center. Weeks of secret agitation had set the stage for a strong, well-organized walkout.