Labor Strikes

Topics: Pullman Strike, Grover Cleveland, Eugene V. Debs Pages: 2 (624 words) Published: September 18, 2008
During the late 1800s, the public and the government felt that the labor movement was becoming too violent. Both the public and the government took steps toward the reduction of violent activity. During the late nineteenth to early twentieth century, it seemed labor unions were conducting riots and strikes to show their dissatisfaction with their working conditions. The United States government seemed so concerned that it would do anything to stop these outbreaks. Some better known instances of these uprisings are the Homestead plant strike of 1892 and the Pullman Strike of 1894. In 1894 a Washington Post editorial describes the lawlessness and violent disorder in Chicago due to the labor strikers protesting the wage cuts by the Pullman Company. (Document D). The Pullman Palace Car Company was deeply effected by the depression. They had to cut wages about one-third. The workers were angered at the wage cuts, and Eugene V. Debs led a strike on the Company. Strikers interfered with railway traffic from Chicago to the Pacific Coast, sometimes overturning railroad cars. Earlier, in 1892, at the Carnegie's Homestead plant near Pittsburgh, there was a pay slash for the steel workers. Strikers that were extremely upset about this pay cut held a strike. The company officials called in Pinkerton detectives to stop these riots. The detectives were unable to stop the defiant strikers; the strikers, armed with rifles and dynamite, were eventually broken. Ten persons were killed and sixty were injured.

When the labor movement started in the late 1800's, most of the public was in favor of the improvement of working conditions. Some workers went too far in their protests such as the Haymarket Square bombing on May 4, 1886. Several dozen people were killed or injured in a labor strike. The increase in violent actions demonstrated how certain individuals began to lose sight of the real goals of the labor movement. In 1894, several headlines from The Chicago Inter Ocean...
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