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The Almagamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers wanted a uniform wage scale, regulated working hours and better working conditions. Carnegie was determined to destroy the Union.
Henry Clay Frick was Carnegie's plant manager. Frick stepped up production demands but the workers refused to accept the conditions. Frick locked the workers out of the plant. A wall was even built to protect the plant.
Sheriffs were sworn in to protect the property. The workers weren't happy with this and tried to run them out of town.
Get out of here! This is our property and you have no right to be here!
Flick called on the help of the Pinkerton Detective private army. They came at night by the Monongahela River. Workers spotted the arrival of the army. Thousands of strikers gathered and went to the riverbank to stop the army.
Gunfire was exchanged for 14 hours between the Pinkertons and the strikers. The strikers chucked dynamite to sink the boats. The Pinkertons surrendered and the strikers rejoiced.
The state militia was ordered into Homestead and they took over the plant. Strikebreakers arrived on trains and took over the steel mills. Authorities charged the strike leaders with murder and they were blacklisted. The Carnegie Company swept unions out of Homestead.
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