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Homestead and Pullman Strikes
Transcript of Homestead and Pullman Strikes
Following the labor strikes, rallies, and boycotts of 1886 there was a second wave of labor activism that struck the working community in 1892.
Many labor strikes erupted causing millions in damages, but the worst of these strikes were the Pullman and Homestead.
Homestead and Pullman Strikes
Andrew Carnegie, the owner of the steel mill, was determined to lower the operating cause of the mill, and forced over 300 budget cuts of workers to be made. This resulted in a deadlock of negations between the company and the union over wages. A labor strike with refusal to work and pickets ensued. In response of Carnegie hired 300 Pinkerton agents in order to penetrate the Union and disrupt the strike. The strike came to a point when a gun fight broke out between the angered workers and the agents causing 10 deaths. And 4 days later 8,500 National Guard troops were brought in to ensure safety of the town.
Results of the Homestead Strike
The company declared that they would no longer deal with the steel workers union. Laborers wages were cut down by one fifth between 1892 and 1907, and the working hours were increased from 8 hour days to 12 hour work days.
And membership in the Amalgamated Association plummeted from 24,000 to 10,000 in 1894 and down to 8,000 in 1895.
The Pullman strike of 1894 was a nationwide railroad strike that placed the American Railroad Union against the Pullman Company, the main railroads, and the federal government. The strike occurred after the Pullman Company cut wages and laid off many workers, and refused to lower rent for the company housing. After failed negotiations, the Union turned to a strike to get their point across.
In order to win the strike the Union called for the boycott of all Pullman produced rail cars, effectively deadlocking the railroad system west of Detroit. At the peak of the strike it included 250,000 workers and 27 states. The government became involved after a federal court demanded that the Union stop interfering with United States postal services. The Union refused, and president Grover Cleveland sent in the Army to prevent the strike from continuing. Violence broke out, and the strike was disbanded.
The Union had violated a court order, and its leaders were arrested. This caused the The American Railroad Union to break apart. In the end the strike had cause over 80 million dollars in damages, and left the national railroad system crippled.
The Homestead Strike
This labor strike took place in Homestead, Pennsylvania. Which was town built around a steel mill known as the Carnegie Steel Co.
The workers of the factory were part of union known as the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers.
Results of the Pullman Strike