Homestead image
After contract negotiations between the Carnegie Steel Company and the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers broke down on June 24, 1892, the company shut down operations in Homestead, Pa. In order to keep the company from reopening with a new work force, union and nonunion employees called a strike on July 1. Within a week the company had hired 300 Pinkerton detectives to guard the plant, but when they attempted to land at Homestead, from two barges on the Monongahela River, strikers responded with gunfire, explosives, and fire.
Troops arriving in Homestead
Two detectives and six Homestead workers died that day, and others suffered wounds that sometimes proved fatal. After members of the AAISW advisory committee arranged for the detectives to surrender and leave the area, they took control of the town and the steel works. But not for long -- by July 10th Governor Robert Pattison had called out the state militia, and when troops arrived on July 12 they escorted strikebreakers into the mills. Within days the production was resumed on a limited basis, and the strike was effectively lost. When the AAISW finally called off the strike on November 20, some workers returned on the company's terms, but others were blacklisted and unable to work again in the industry.


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Created by   The Samuel Gompers Papers Project