(Published April 7th 2017)
Dedicated to The American Railway Union (ARU), its leader Eugene V. Debs and the workers who fought and to those who lost their lives for the cause of justice in the nationwide railroad strike in the United States on May 11, 1894, known as ‘The Pullman Strike’.
The Pullman Strike became a turning point for US labor law. It pitted the ARU against the Pullman Company, the main railroads and the federal government of the United States under President Grover Cleveland. The strike and boycott shut down much of the nation’s freight and passenger traffic west of Detroit, Michigan. The conflict began in Pullman, Chicago, on May 11 when nearly 4,000 factory employees of the Pullman Company began a “wildcat” strike in response to recent reductions in wages. The arrival of the military and the subsequent deaths of workers in violence led to further outbreaks of violence. During the course of the strike, 30 strikers were killed and 57 were wounded.