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Great Southwest Railroad Strike
Transcript of Great Southwest Railroad Strike
Number of participants: 200,000
Time of strike: From March to September of 1886
Cause and effect: This strike was organized by the Knights of Labor, and was in retaliation for a Knights of Labor member being fired. Why? He went to a meeting held by the union on company time. The strike was called for by other Knights of Labor members, and soon 200,000 were present. After some violence had occurred, new people were hired in, and military assistance was even procured, the strike finally disbanded in September and the Knights of Labor soon became a thing of the past.
The Pullman Strike
Number of participants: 250,000
Time of strike: May 11th - mid-July, 1894
Cause and effect: The Pullman Strike began because of poor working conditions in the Pullman factory, low pay, and set, forced rent that didn't fluctuate with pay, and was later joined by the American Railroad Union (ARU). The strike quickly turned violent, with people burning things down and even stopping a train being escorted by soldiers, resulting in many deaths and injuries. The strike ended with most going back to their jobs, some going on a blacklist and were never hired by a railroad again, and founder of the ARU was put in jail for 6 months, during which the organization was disbanded.
Great Anthracite Coal Strike
Time of strike: From May to October of 1902
Cause and effect: This strike started because of a need for higher pay, better hours and acknowledgment of their union, the United Mine Workers of America. After a few moths of refusing to work, and with winter approaching fast, the president, Theodore Roosevelt stepped in and forced both sides to make a compromise. The miners ended up with their raise, reduced hours, but the union went unrecognized still.
Steel Strike of 1919
Time of strike: From September of 1919 to January of 1920
Cause and effect: Organized by the American Federation of Labor, this strike was because of poor conditions, long hours and low pay. Although it briefly improved during the demand in WW1, it quickly reverted back and over 350,000 miners working in a few different different companies set out on strike. However, the miners met no success, and they were dispatched with national guards, leading to some deaths on the miners side and violence in the city.
Railroad Shop Workers Strike of 1922
Time of strike: From July to October of 1922
Cause and effect: In retaliation for a 12% wage cut, 400,000 miners walked out on their jobs to strike against their employers to try to raise their pay back up. However, their plan backfired horribly on them, and, at the minimum, 10 of the miners and their family members were killed by the national guard. In addition to this, the Railroad management even get some of the leaders of the better paid men to ignore those that were on strike.
Textile Workers Strike of 1934
Time of strike: September of 1934
Cause and effect: This strike was largely due to workers not only getting unfair loads of work, but also because once the cotton mill workers actually obtained a union, their employers fired whoever joined it, the NRA soon cut hours for the workers, cutting their pay down by 25%, and, in addition to all this, their union quickly backed down from trying to make things fair when offered a chance to. The workers were enraged and took to striking, though they were only occasionally violent, breaking threads and fighting those who tried to stop them. They easily gained 400,000 workers to go on strike with them within a relatively short period of time, inspiring violence to crop up here and there from others who fought for the same cause but didn't go on strike. All of this lead to National guards being called, and even more violence broke out, with some workers and cops killed. The strike finally ended soon after with the workers returned unsatisfactorily to the mills, though some workers were refused work and forced to look for jobs elsewhere.
Strikes in History
An image from the Great Southwest Railroad Strike
An artist's drawing of the Pullman Strike
Image of a few of the miners who participated in the Great Anthracite Coal Strike
An image of some of the miners involved in the Steel Strike of 1919
An image of some of the men involved in the Railroad Shop Workers Strike of 1922
An image from the Textile Workers Strike of 1934
A map of the area affected by the Great Southwest Railroad Strike
Area affected by the The Pullman Strike
Area affected by Great Anthracite Coal Strike
A map of the area affected by Steel Strike of 1919
Map of area affected by Railroad Shop Workers Strike of 1922
Area affected by Textile Workers Strike of 1934