Although initially opposed to the strike, Debs responded to notice of the strike of the Pullman workers by traveling to to investigate the situation in person. The American Railway Union generated wide interest and support among the rail workers of North America. He was extremely effective as a public speaker and made his living primarily as a lecturer and contributor to various periodicals. The federal government took an unprecedented step in using indictments to make any form of a strike essentially illegal and supported this action by deploying federal troops against the will of the states. It is architecturally intact, including the Florence Hotel where you can still get an excellent Sunday brunch. During the strike, the American Railway Union had convened in Chicago because it was the rail center of the United States.
Debs lived an extraordinary life, one devoted to the cause of the average working man and woman. These cuts were bad in themselves, but when coupled with Pullman's actions of not lowering the rents for his company owned homes in Pullman, the labor began to unite. This strike had other far ranging consequences. At the same time, industrial was also being promoted by the. However, he said he would use the National Guard to protect property.
The Great Northern Railroad had begun cutting wages in August of 1893, with more cuts made in January and in March of 1894. The strike at Pullman, also, ended in defeat for the union. During the course of the proceedings the situation of the Pullman workers came before the assembly, which appointed a committee of Pullman employees to study the situation. Railway employees began to refuse to handle trains pulling Pullman cars. Mobs assaulted the strikebreakers and troops.
The June 26 deadline came and still the Pullman Company refused to arbitrate its wage reductions. The were the first to act, refusing to attach Pullman cars to trains. Then on May 11, 1894 the Pullman Plant closed. Debs was arrested for alleged conspiracy to interfere with the mail and violation of the injunction. Let me thank you most warmly for your kind words in reference to myself personally and to say in answer that I have the same high regard, the same strong attachment for you as a fellow-worker and revolutionist. They were condescending towards their fellow workers in the less skilled crafts - the switchmen, the brakemen, the locomotive firemen - and they hardly recognized the existence of the men who worked on the railroad but had nothing to do with the actual operation of the trains.
Term Panic of 1893 Definition panic that was marked by the collapse of railroad overbuilding and shaky railroad financing which set off a series of bank failures Term American Railway Union Definition Labor union founded June 20, 1893, by railway workers gathered in Chicago, Illinois, and under the leadership of Eugene V. Pullman's stubborn strategy might have worked except the A. He gained greater renown when he was sentenced to six months in jail May—November 1895 for his role in leading the. Debs, in full Eugene Victor Debs, born November 5, 1855, Terre Haute, , U. During Debs' time in jail, he spent much of his time reading the literature works of and texts brought to jail by. Above all Governor Altgeld did not want federal troops to intervene. I do not say this as an alarmist, but calmly and thoughtfully.
It was impossible for the unskilled crafts to bargain effectively with the railroads, and the Engineers achieved many of their gains by sacrificing the interests of other crafts. New York: Rand School of Social Science, 1926; pg. The arbitrators, consisting of businessmen from and , , found in favor of the Great Northern workers, thereby pressuring the company to roll back its wage cuts. It published a monthly magazine for its members,. Library of Congress, Washington, D. In supporting the capital side of this strike President Cleveland for the first time in the Nation's history would send in federal troops, who would fire on and kill United States Citizens, against the wishes of the states.
Three of the committee members were then terminated. The June 26 deadline came and still the Pullman Company refused to arbitrate its wage reductions. When one switchman would be fired for insubordination, all the others in the shop would quit, in accord with a previously agreed upon plan. The entire rail labor force of the nation would walk away from their jobs. Once again, the Supreme Court upheld his conviction.
However, the issuing of this federal injunction and the fact that mail-trains might be delayed caused President Grover Cleveland to send in federal troops from Fort Sheridan. Get a copy of Adelman's Touring Pullman, and walk the streets with this little guide book. The strike was a victory, as the company proceeded to roll back those cuts. Rails were signing up at the rate of 2,000 a week, and within six months the new organization had 150,000 members! Debs and his fellows quickly took over when the great Northern employees went on strike in April. One of these radicals was Eugene Victor Debs, secretary-treasurer of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen since 1880 and editor of its magazine. The boycott collapsed and the American Railway Union was destroyed, just as the Railway Managers had planned. Eugene Debs and other union officials were concerned that other disruptions were in opportune, with the union needing a brief respite to better organize itself and to restore its finances.
The order published a monthly magazine for its members called The Railroad Telegrapher. The total forces of the strikebreakers both government and private were: 1,936 federal troops, 4,000 national guardsmen, about 5,000 extra deputy marshals, 250 extra deputy sheriffs, and the 3,000 policemen in Chicago for a total of 14,186 strikebreakers. It is undoubtedly true that the officers and directors of the American Railway Union did not want a strike at Pullman, and that they advised against it, but the exaggerated idea of the power of the union, which induced the workmen at Pullman to join the order, led to their striking against this advice. McIsaac, The Order of Railroad Telegraphers: A Study in Trade Unionism and Collective Bargaining. This policy will do more, infinitely more to inspire the faith of the workers in industrial unionism and draw them to its standard than any possible amount of denunciation or attempted destruction of the old unions. Workers had to live in his homes and buy from his stores, thereby ensuring virtually all wages returned directly back into his pockets.