What happened in the Pullman strike?
The Pullman Strike was one of the major strikes in US history. The strike started out because workers who lived in the company town of Pullman, Illinois were seeing their wages cut without corresponding cuts to the rent they had to pay their employer. The strike then spread with the American Railway Union striking in sympathy with the Pullman workers against many railroads that served Chicago.
President Cleveland, claiming that the strike was interfering with the US mails, sent troops in to end the strike. Violence erupted and 13 strikers were killed. Damage was done in the strike that would add up to millions of dollars in today's money. The strike is seen as an example of how the US government was firmly on the side of employers during this time.
The Pullman strike, 1894
- When the national company fell into depression, the Pullman palace car company cut wages while maintaining rents and prices in a company town where 12,000 workers lived.
- The strike ended when President Cleveland ordered federal troops to Chicago, to crush the strike.