Homestead Lockout and Strike

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Homestead Lockout and Strike

On the night of July 6, 1892, an event would take place that would change American history forever. Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick were planning something that no one would ever expect. The Amalgamated Association (The AA) attempted to renew their contract, but because the majority of the employees were non-union they decided to go with the majority and make it non-union. Carnegie did not want to be directly involved with the break of the unions, so he brought in Frick to be in charge of the plant. His plans were to lockout the workers and bring in workers who would do what he wanted them to do with increased hours and less pay.

Frick built a fifteen foot barbed wire fence around the plant to keep the workers out. He then hired three-hundred and sixteen workers from the Pinkerton National Detective agency. They agreed to work for only five dollars a day. On June 28, Frick locked out the workers to bring the scab workers in. In the early morning of July 6th, he attempted to smuggle the workers into homestead, however word broke that this event was taking place and when the Pinkertons tried to come ashore a riot began. More than a dozen Pinkerton and thirty strikers were killed or wounded. After twelve hours of hackling the Pinkertons finally surrendered. All this resulting in a twelve hour work day, loss of five-hundred jobs, and wages cut in half.

After the dust settled, the labor movement would never be the same. Another union was not formed for more than thirty years. The ideas of laissez-faire and social Darwinism were proven to be hypocrisy. The workers rights were not established. They believed they deserved more than what they were given. Many workers lost hope in ever having regular wages and regular workdays. Workers lost power in everything; say in pay, hours, and how they are treated as workers. The managers would have complete control over everything.

The working class believed that they deserved more pay....
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