Pullman Railroad Strike

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  • Pullman Railroad Car Company, 1893
  • I believe it would be best to cut wages, sir. Then we can make more of a profit when people buy our railroad cars.
  • There's a depression going on, what can we do to cut costs?
  • Meanwhile in Pullman, Illinois...
  • I'm so hungry, Mama.
  • I know, but we can't buy enough food. The company owns everything here, and they didn't lower prices when they cut our pay.
  • Sir, we want either higher wages or a lower cost of living here in Pullman. We can't work under these conditions!
  • Then don't work at all. I can have all of you replaced by tomorrow morning.
  • After meeting with the American Railway Union, the Pullman workers staged a walkout on May 11, 1894 .
  • This factory is closed!
  • Other members of the ARU flocked to the aid of the Pullman workers by boycotting Pullman rail cars, majorly disrupting railway traffic. The strike turned violent, escalating to burning buildings and derailing a mail train. This incident got the federal government involved in the strike.
  • President Grover Cleveland sent troops to Chicago to stop the strike, which led to more violence from the protesters, but the strike ended.
  • When the Pullman Company reopened in August of 1894, they only hired workers who contracted never to join a union.
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