Pullman Strike Of 1894 Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Pullman Strike Of 1894?
The Pullman Strike of 1894 was a labor action initiated by the American Railway Union (ARU) against the Pullman Company, in response to the drastic wage cuts imposed on Pullman workers. The strike began on May 11, 1894 and lasted for 4 months, resulting in a complete shutdown of railway traffic across much of the United States. This event has been credited as one of the major catalysts that led to the establishment of labor unions and organized labor movements in America.At its heart, the Pullman Strike was an issue of fair wages. Prior to 1893, most employees at George Pullman’s rail car manufacturing plant in Chicago had earned prosperous wages and enjoyed generous benefits. But when economic downturns hit during 1893-1894, Pullman fired nearly 3,000 workers and drastically slashed wages without reducing rent or other living expenses at his company town outside Chicago. In response, ARU leader Eugene V. Debs called for a boycott of all trains carrying cars made by the Pullman Company until their demands were met. The strike soon spread from Chicago across 24 states and disrupted railroad traffic over 9,000 miles as more than 250,000 workers joined Debs’ call for action by refusing to handle any freight containing a single car built by Pullman’s factories or running any train fully equipped with them.